Amir Khan: Boxer to launch mixed martial arts league in Britain in 2017

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Amir Khan: Boxer to launch mixed martial arts league in Britain in 2017

Boxer Amir Khan is planning to launch a team-based mixed martial arts league in Britain in 2017.

The Super Fight League will see eight teams from different parts of Britain competing in a league format.

"MMA is big and getting bigger," Khan, a financial stakeholder in Indian MMA promotion Super Fight League, told BBC World Service.

"Fighters like Conor McGregor are making a lot of noise. MMA is hitting some high numbers on pay per view."

Irish fighter McGregor, 28, became the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first dual division champion in November.

Earlier this year, Khan said he would be willing to "put friendship aside" and fight McGregor in the UFC.

The Bolton fighter, 30, added: "I am always going to be involved in boxing but to have my foot in the door with MMA is brilliant.

"The market is massive for us. We want to reach countries like India with a population of 1.2 billion people."

Khan on Kell Brook

Last week, Kell Brook's camp revealed they were in talks with Khan about a fight in May 2017.

Khan had said that Brook, 30, was not a big enough name for him to fight but has since changed his mind after the Sheffield fighter's battle with Gennady Golovkin, who stopped Brook in September.

"It's a fight that I would love to have," added Khan. "I have changed my mind because of the Triple G [Golovkin] fight.

"Kell was smart taking that fight. He knew he was going to get beat but he still took it because he knew he was going to get paid well and make a name for himself."

Amir Khan
Khan and Brook have tweeted about the possibility of facing one another in the ring
Kell Brook

Asked about how he rated Brook, Khan said: "He is not a bad fighter. It takes a lot to step in the ring with someone who is bigger than you and he did that so he deserves credit where it's due.

"I still think he is not the best in Britain. I still think I'm the best. The number one fighter in Britain. So time will tell."

Khan on family feud

Khan was also asked about the public family feud between the boxer's family and wife, Faryal Makhdoom, and the impact it might have on his career.

The boxer's dad, Shah, said last week the row was an embarrassment and that he did not see the argument ending.

Khan added: "I am going to look after them [my family] the way I have always looked after them.

"Sometimes things change in boxing. Your manager changes, advisers change but family is always going to be your family.

"It's always a challenge when you are in a situation like this and it's very hard for me being in the middle.

"To be honest with you I never let things like that get to me because it can destroy you.

"I have to make sure I am physically and mentally very strong. I think right and I think happy."

Read more about the family row here

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