Surprising even for Iranian journalists and locals, and unlike what it first appears, the Iranian “Pahlevan” MMA Championship League is broadcast live on YouTube for promotion. The surprise dissipates gradually with every step an onlooker takes into the fighting hall, if they are granted entry, which is for the most part reserved to a limited number of carefully chosen spectators. Part of the surprise is the events are held in a wedding hall or venues allocated to other sports like handball and volleyball. This particular discipline is neither supported nor banned by the state, and thus deprived of official financial aid or organizational provisions, surviving solely on private knowhow and management. Unlike most their rivals in other countries, Iranian MMA fighters have to pay for everything down to their personal gear, nutrition and training programs. That is why designating these fighters as professionals is ambiguous despite all the blood and sweat the fighters shed. The only hope they sustain for a promising future is shining in matches and attaining good fight records so that they can join a foreign league, in places such as Russia, Turkey, and Afghanistan where they will be paid regardless of their results. The term “Pahlevan,” which is the name for this championship league takes its origins from the word meaning “side” in Persian. This etymology traces its origins to the tradition of strengthening bodies in order to gain moral privileges and spiritual capacities. In Iran, as in many other countries, heroes have always assumed social obligations to the less fortunate and the oppressed, for which the particular techniques of physical development devised through history, seemed necessary. This is why MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, signifying all the different disciplines a fighter must master in order to gain victory, according to the historic tradition of championship and heroism including boxing, wrestling, and self-defense.