SFT MMA & Extreme (Standout Fighting Tournament), unlike most mixed-martial-arts promotions, doesn’t want to be part of a feeder system for UFC. In fact, it doesn’t even want to have ex-UFC fighters on its cards.
The rising MMA company, based in Brazil, recently made its American debut in Miami, and its future schedule, albeit after the COVID-19 pandemic, includes hosting its uniquely entertaining brand of combat sports on a monthly basis in Brazil, United States and Mexico.
Establishing its own identity as an elite promotional company, instead of simply promising that any SFT fighter who excels will be signed by UFC, which is what most MMA promoters pitch to their combatants.
“I do not want SFT to be a UFC feeder,” SFT MMA & Xtreme president David Hudson proclaimed. “This is the main reason why there are so few big shows other than UFC. There’s room for UFC and SFT. Not only don’t I want us to be a feeder for UFC, we don’t look for ex-UFC fighters to fight for SFT, and that’s something I’ve been criticized for in the past. I want SFT to be one of the great combat sports promotions, but that’s not going to happen if we only have fighters who didn’t make it in the UFC.
“I definitely believe we have a few fighters who will be huge stars in the not too distant future. We’re the No. 1 MMA promotion in Brazil where it all started. Six of the seven top pound-for-pound MMA fighters in Brazil, including No. 1 (Marcos dos Santos), are under contract with SFT. Our philosophy is to treat each fighter with respect, whether they’re world champions or amateurs. We do everything to make our fighters feel special and consistently put together well-matched fights that fans want to watch.”
What separates SFT MMA is from other promotional outfits is its Xtreme division, which features stand-up fights with top strikers, no ground fighting, as well as having stand-alone grappling and jiu-jitsu matches on its SFT MMA and Xtreme cards.
“MMA is made-up of all disciplines in combat sports,” Hudson explained, “Grappling and Jiu-Jitsu are tricky. We normally only have one fight of each discipline on our cards. On the other hand, Xtreme is MMA fighting without a ground game. It’s 100-percent striking, and looking at it, people can’t really tell it’s not MMA fighting. Pure adrenaline! We have Xtreme fights on our cards after every two or three MMA matches, so that if there was a slow MMA fight, Xtreme fights bring the energy level up. Most of our Xtreme fighters are kickboxers, which attracts a new group of potential fans to SFT.”
SFT airs weekly shows every Saturday on national television in Brazil and, due to the pandemic and its virtual shutdown of shows, SFT is focused on recycling old content right now, at least until it gets back to promoting monthly shows.
When will that be? “We hope to promote our next show is at the end of October in Brazil,” Hudson concluded, “and then back in the United States in late November or early December.”