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Super Fighters League (SFL)

Before fighting was “Ultimate” it was “Super”

The first mixed martial arts league in history was the SFL (Super Fighters League) Established in 1980 decades before the UFC would become a household name.

super-figther

See some of CV Productions accomplishments.

CV (Caliguri and Viola) Productions was the first MMA based promotional company in American history, established in 1979.

Bill Viola wrote the first codified set of mixed martial arts rules in 1979; implemented in over 130 bouts.  Those standards parallel the unified rules of today.

The World Martial Arts Fighting Association (WMAFA) sanctioned all CV Productions events and was the first regulatory body for mixed martial arts in the United States.

CV Productions introduced open regulated mixed martial arts competitions to the United States March 20, 1980 in Pittsburgh, PA with the inaugural “Battle of the Tough Guys” championship. This was the first commercial MMA success and the beginning of a new sport.

Later in 1980, the “Tough Guys” were rebranded as Super Fighters to accommodate a professional fighting image: The “Super Fighters League” (SFL). This was the first MMA league of its kind and set the tone for mainstream mixed martial arts.

Pennsylvania became the first state in history to set a legal precedent for mixed martial arts, officially banning the sport of MMA with the passage of Senate Bill 632 (Session of 1983 Act 1983-62).

The groundbreaking law was drafted specifically to outlaw CV Productions’ events and provided detailed language that defined mixed martial arts competition by prohibiting:

“ANY COMPETITION WHICH INVOLVES ANY PHYSICAL CONTACT BOUT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE INDIVIDUALS, WHO ATTEMPT TO KNOCK OUT THEIR OPPONENT BY EMPLOYING BOXING, WRESTLING, MARTIAL ARTS TACTICS OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF AND BY USING TECHNIQUES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PUNCHES, KICKS AND CHOKING.”

Ten years after the passage of Senate Bill 632, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would debut in 1993.

 

 

  • Posted by  Godfathersofmma
  • Godfathers of MMA, News
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About the Author

Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh, PA based author, producer, and martial artist. His latest book, Godfathers of MMA, is now available.

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RAVE REVIEWS

  • A legitimate jab at boxing--the league was hand built to compete them at the box office. It’s a shame it played out the way it did. They [Caliguri and Viola] were obviously ahead of their time.

    Larry Hunter
  • These guys came within an eyelash of a billion dollar payday. The UFC owes Pennsylvania politicians a big pat on the back because without them, they wouldn’t be in business today.

    Tim Zontek
  • Incredible to think a mixed martial arts revolution began in 1979... we just didn't know about it.

    Rocky Whatule, Zanshin Martial Arts

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