Pictured: MMA expo director Sharif Bapu (center, left) with 1000 competing martial artists at BODYPOWER Mumbai 2019 Amateur MMA in India continues to produce encouraging competitor turnout across grass roots events, within the nation’s flourishing martial arts scene. In January, India’s biggest sports expo, BODYPOWER, kicked off the 2019 circuit of marquee amateur championships. 230 amateur mixed martial artists were among the 1000 participants spanning MMA, BJJ and karate contests, in addition to open-mat MMA for athletes below the age of 18, plus members of India’s national team to IMMAF and WMMAA championships and guest competitors from Germany, Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal and UAE. The MMA competition was sanctioned by the Maharashtra State MMA Association, operating under national regulatory body, MMA India. MMA India president Suresh Gopi and national director Ajit Sigamani were both in attendance. At the latest MMA India board meeting certified IMMAF officials, with experience at IMMAF-WMMAA international championships, were appointed to leading roles including Prasad Gaitonde as MMA India vice-president and Sharif Bapu as general secretary. Competitors were applauded and champions crowned across 9 senior level men’s divisions from strawweight to heavyweight, and 3 women’s divisions: strawweight, flyweight and featherweight. MMA India’s national championships are expected to take place later in the year.