Ansgar Fighting League (AFL) is set to showcase AFL 19: Night of Champions Saturday March 30, 2019. The name could not be more appropriate with the card set to showcase five title fights. AFL is ready to make it’s name worldwide, but where did AFL come from? Most importantly, WHO started AFL? Well meet Fran Montiel.
The Man Behind AFL
The man behind AFL is Fran Montiel. Montiel is from Barcelona, Spain. His official title is CEO of AFL. He is also a life-long fan of combat sports with extensive training in kick boxing, BJJ, and MMA. “I see myself as an enterprising person,” Montiel told MMA Sucka. “I like to work on new projects and businesses. That’s why after practicing in MMA, I became interested in setting up a sportswear brand as well as MMA events. The brand ‘Ansgar’ emerged in 2011, and we prepared two BJJ competitions in Barcelona, which was a success in attendance with more than 400 competitors.” This did not fulfill Montiel’s need to provide a platform for combat sports in Spain. “I wanted something more. In 2012 I started to attend events to look at montages, lighting, fight cards, etc. I went to all the events I could to observe everything possible.”
The Creation of AFL
Montiel partnered with two others to operate FX, a promotion which lasted from 2012 to 2014. “I decided to disassociate myself after the last event because I was still looking for something that would ‘fill me’ and I decided to start AFL. The organization is growing little by little and we hope to achieve something great,” Montiel told MMA Sucka.
Hitting the Ground Running with AFL
The first AFL event, Ansgar Trial Series: Catalonia took place September 20, 2014 from Barcelona, Spain. The organization’s first main event saw bantamweight Marc Gomez Sariol defeat via first round triangle choke against Jorge Landa Peirona. Also featured on the card was Ignacio Capella, who lost his debut, but since has compiled a record of 6-1. He also scored a victory earlier in March 2019 under the Combate Americas banner. “We wanted to start big,” Montiel said. “AFL 1 and AFL 2 were two magnificent events. We hit a wall. We decided to change the system and progressively, trying new cities and risk more where we have more fans.”
AFL Continues to Strive for Excellence
AFL 2 Madrid: Los 3 Mas Grandes was the followup to the successful AFL 1 event. The event took place November 29, 2014 from Madrid, Spain. This main event went to a close split decision as the Brazilian Gilberto Galvao took the decision over Daniel Tabera. Galvao earned his 27th victory while Tabera would go on to compete for KSW and M-1. Rizin veteran, Manel Kape, also competed on the card and earned a third round verbal submission over Daniel Barez.
Montiel is on a mission to make AFL one of the premier organizations in all of Europe. Every free moment is spent researching and planning to make AFL better with each event. He also wants to do his part in continuing the worldwide growth of MMA in the country of Spain. “I love watching how this magnificient sport grows all over the world! My holidays are usually visiting events in other countries,” Montiel said. “On the other hand, it saddens me Spain still lacks a lot to reach the level of other European countries. We have a lot of work to do.”
The Biggest Show to Date
AFL 19: Night of Champions is set to showcase Saturday March 30, 2019 from the Centro Insular De Deportes in Gran Canaria, Spain. The card is stacked with five title fights and the absolute best fighters Spain has to offer as well as a great mix of international talent. Currently the card sits at 13 fights. The vacant featherweight, bantamweight, and super lightweight titles will be on the line. Light heavyweight champion Darwin Rodriguez will defend his crown along with flyweight champion Raymison Bruno putting his gold up for grabs.
The only way in North America to watch this amazing show is on fite.tv which you can access by clicking here. Follow MMA Sucka for live results as well as a preview article of AFL 19: Night of Champions soon to come.