After weeks of heavy doses of action and drama, the day of the first set of semi-finals of SFL Challengers finally arrived amid much enthusiasm among the fighters and the shows fans alike. The show has caught the fancy of the audiences all over the country from various age groups and has been instrumental in furthering the development of the world’s fastest growing sport in India.
Raj Kundra, chairman SFL, was present on the sideline which he has been doing religiously throughout the duration of the show. This week’s celebrity guests were the talented R Madhavan and the beautiful Shamita Shetty who were present to cheer the fighters on.
The first semi-final was the ladies bout between Gurleen Kaur and Monica Singh, both of them coming off dominating wins in the first elimination fights. The first round started with Gurleen making her intentions clear by landing several hard shots to Monica’s face including a vicious knee to the head and even though Monica attempted to mount some offence by taking her opponent down; Gurleen ended on top by continuing to land scoring shots to rattle Monica.
Realising that she needed to come back quickly Monica ended the second round strongly administering some ground and pound and also an attempted arm bar to submit Gurleen. With both fighters taking each round the third and the last round was of paramount importance, but with both the girls completely tired from previous rounds lots of kicks and punches were seen missing their mark but Gurleen managed to edge out the round and the fight via a decision even after getting a one point deduction for a illegal head kick.
The first men’s semi final bout was between Rajinder Singh Meena, a technical striker who won his last fight via a decision after three rounds and Isaac Kario, an unorthodox fighter who impressively won his last fight in the very first round first round. The first round started expectedly with Isaac starting with his trademark flashy spin kick landing on Rajinder’s face but it didn’t cause much damage, from thereafter the round belonged to Rajinder who kept on countering Isaac’s attacks with strong punches.
Rajinder clearly came out the winner in the first round where he successfully put his opponent on the ground each time Isaac tried to come close to attack. Heeding to the advice of his corner Isaac decides to take the fight to the ground in the second round and does just that to devastating effect. Isaac started the second round waiting for his opponent to make a mistake and Rajinder complied when he locked in a submission on Isaac, after the latter’s failed takedown attempt, instead of continuing to keep striking.
Isaac showed his superior grappling skills wrestling out of Rajinder’s submission and taken him to the ground reversing into a submission of his own which was too much for Rajinder to get out off as he tapped two minutes and 20 seconds into round two. With Gurleen and Isaac reaching their respective finals we can all expect the second set of semi finals to be as explosive as the first.
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