We are now just days away from Fightstar Championship 23, which has all the ingredients for a night the fight fans will not soon forget.
In true Fightstar fashion, they have once again successfully put together a fight card to best their previous, a statement the team promises each and every time.
I caught up with the man behind FightStar, Raj Singh, to get the inside knowledge behind the exceptional work he and his team do behind the scenes as FSC 23 looms near.
It’s great to finally be speaking to the man behind so many phenomenal cards, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Raj.
“Thanks for having me bro – this is the first interview I have ever done!”
Anytime mate, hopefully the first of many.
Many countless hours of dedication from you and your team have cemented FightStar Championship as one of the leading regional shows in the country. And a huge part played as a stage that many big names in the industry have called home, as you are fast approaching your 23rd card to date.
“I have the most hardworking and passionate team behind me, we strive to be one of the best in the game. I also believe, currently FightStar Championship is the leading MMA regional promotion. Our intention has always been to create a quality platform for Pro & Amateur fighters by simply not cutting any corners. We have a big production, the best medical team, the best officials (that also work for the UFC & IMMAF) and a hard-working team that tries their best to give every fighter we have that fights for us the exposure they deserve. This is why we have a very good reputation. We’ve had many FSC champions such as Javid Basharat, Paul Craig, Amir Albazi, Sam Patterson, Jake Hadley etc go onto bigger platforms such as the UFC. So many names to mention. Each event we’ve put on, we consistently improve and grow.”
It must be an amazing feeling to not only have played host to some of the most explosive talent, but also to be approaching your 23rd?
“Yeah, it’s a good feeling to have reached our 23rd event. Since the pandemic we came back stronger and have been selling out events consistently with 2000-3000 people in attendance which I believe is the largest UK MMA crowd on the regional scene.”
When venturing out on your promotion, did you ever think you would reach these incredible fetes?
“The vision was always there. We started out in 2013, in the North of England (Huddersfield, Halifax & Manchester) then branched out delivering shows across the Midlands as well as bringing FSC to the capital – London. The vision is to continue expanding and to consistently be one of the best UK MMA promotions.”
Not only is FightStar one of the most recognised shows in the UK, you also dedicate a vast amount of time providing many athletes access to the Fightstar Interclub across the UK.
A place for young aspiring fighters as well as athletes across the amateur scene to perfect their skill sets within fight scenarios. Do you feel having these sorts of platforms is a pivotal ingredient to success in the world of MMA?
“FightStar Interclub is a safe and friendly platform for up and coming fighters to gain experience and confidence in a relaxed and controlled environment, before going onto larger platforms. We have grassroots level fighters travelling from all over the UK and Europe on a regular basis. We’ve put on over 60x interclub events during an 8-year period and have seen the improvements over the years from the UK MMA gyms/fighters, UK MMA is stronger than ever. So many upcoming fighters are scarily good! One fighter that has done many interclubs with us was Mohammed Mokaev, he is now the UFC’s youngest signing. The proof is there, these events help upcoming fighters to learn, gain confidence and get rid of those pre-fight nerves.”
The many fighters competing under the Fightstar banner have expressed their joy in the fact that you previously competed in the fight game. Fighting under contract with someone that has been in their shoes seems to be one of the main reasons for their enjoyment for taking part on the cards.
Do you feel it’s important for promoters to have first hand knowledge of the fight game before venturing out on running a show?
“My background has been in Muay Thai & K1 before transitioning to MMA. I do believe being a former fighter helps 100%. As a promoter, you need to know exactly what a fighter needs and how they think. This is why we do our utmost best to accommodate every fighter’s request to make them as comfortable as possible. Not only that, can also relate to fighters. We make sure gifted amateurs and well-rounded professionals have a stage and an opportunity to gain much-needed cage time, as well as an organisation that has the fighter’s best interests in mind.”
The care and wellbeing of the warriors fighting under your banner is plain to see in your recent affiliation with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA).
What does it mean to you to have your bouts closely monitored by such a dedicated team of professionals with your best interests at heart?
“FightStar Championship has been providing a safe platform for Pro & Amateurs fighters for many years. It was the right time to join EMMAA, not only to enhance our promotion but to strengthen the future of UK MMA. I’d like to give a shout out to Sam Amidi, who helped massively with our affiliation to EMMAA.”
It’s great to see such unity in the industry, it’s definitely great for all parties involved to help the UK fight scene.
Each and every event that you and your team have put on, you do your utmost to outdo the previous. This is gonna be a difficult question for sure, but has there been a card that will always hold a special place for you?
“That’s all we ever do! Try to outdo the previous events. For me, I think FSC20 was special. We came out of the pandemic after 2 years, invested a lot of time and money by going to Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to put on a huge fight card and selling out the event in style.”
I was there that night, the whole arena was buzzing. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.
With the 2023 MMA calendar approaching, you have pieced together yet another explosive night of pure unadulterated organised violence in the capital. Yet again working day and night to make sure Fightstar Championship 23 outdoes your previous card.
What can fight fans expect from you and your team in the 2023 MMA calendar?
“We’re finishing this year in style. 2023 will be a year of exciting projects. You’ll find out soon!”
I for one am definitely looking forward to an explosive 2023 for Fightstar.
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Raj, I wish you all the best for the show on the 19th and beyond.
“Thanks for having me, always appreciate your work. Respect.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“You don’t want to miss this event, it’s one of the biggest UKMMA fight cards of the year and the biggest fight card for FSC. A big shout out to all the coaches, gyms and fighters that have supported us. Trust me, it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Catch many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card on November 19th at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. Tickets will be made available from the fighters as well as via the Fightstar Championship website here. Also available on PPV for only £12.99 with Fight Ticket.