“Honestly, I never knew about Mixed Martial Arts until 2014. I joined the MMA training along with my friend as he was getting trained under our coach, Mr Shaik Khalid sir. Within a few days of my training, he noticed something unique with my approach that he asked me to train under him full time in MMA. I was doubtful about myself initially. However, I went ahead with the full-time training and honestly it was a life-changing decision in my life.
I was a cab driver in the past and also worked part-time in a clothing store to support my family. My father is a lorry driver and my mother, a homemaker. I am the oldest among our five siblings and had to take the family’s responsibility at a young age. However, when I joined the MMA, I discontinued my previous job to start focusing on my training full time.
After four years of rigorous training and participation in many state-level tournaments, I got an opportunity to represent India in the 2018 IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) in the amateur category. I was nervous but I did my best with the training and stayed focused during all the matches. Thankfully, with my coach’s support and training, I was able to win the first International Gold Medal for India in 2018 at Bahrain defeating Bahrain, Kazakhstan, and Australia. That was my first International tournament and
it was the best feeling ever to win for the country.
There are a few setbacks in my career too as in 2019, during World Championship, I was disqualified from the tournament due to an excess weight of just 0.2 Ibs. I would have made weight if the commission had allowed me few extra minutes but they declined as they had strict rules. Later, due to Covid 19 pandemic, our training had stopped for more than seven months and we are slowly getting back to training as things started improving. I even won a Gold in February 2021 at a national tournament in Lucknow but later because of the intensity of the second wave, there’s a break for training.
Right now, we are taking all necessary Covid precautions and working hard with our fitness and wrestling techniques. I am all geared up for the upcoming national tournament in Madhya Pradesh later this month and I wish to make it to the next level in MMA soon.
Mixed Martial Arts is the most underrated
hybrid combat sport
in the world and my request for the state government is to provide more facilities for the aspiring fighters who want to represent the country in MMA. The most important thing right now is our country needs to host big tournaments and I intend to train the youngsters and support them as much as I can. I also request media support to take the sport to a wider audience!”