Nagaland’s Arsenba Ozukum produced a memorable performance at Matrix Fight Night 9. Arsenba made his professional MMA debut at the event against Bishwamitra of Manipur and ended up taking home a successful unanimous decision victory.
Throughout the match, Arsenba landed a whopping 40 leg kick which proved to be a major concern for Bishwamitra. The performance of the Naga fighter has earned him praise from the Indian MMA community and at the same time, it has painted a target on his back with fighters calling out the young Flyweight prospect.
Arsenba’s coach at The Combat Academy Nagaland, Khriemelie Metha broke down the performance of Arsenba in an exclusive interview with LockerRoom India, and here is what he had to say.
“We did notice that Bishwamitra does switch he stands orthodox and he does go southpaw. The interesting thing we saw is that he shoots when he southpaw he doesn't really shoot that much when he's off the box. So, our idea was to force him to go orthodox and that's when we would look for the finish.
If you notice the fight [between Arsenba and Bishwamitra] also when he is on southpaw, we'll touch the leg, we'll pepper the leg we won't bang we'll just touch, touch, touch once that's hurting let's force him to switch orthodox and that's when we start banging.
Once we start banging, the finish would come the moment that he starts overreacting to that change of pace. Props to him, he didn't really play orthodoxy majority of his fight was in southpaw even though we were banging that lead leg.
We wanted the finish. We had discussed also looking for the finish in the third round. Arsenba wasn't really throwing that many strikes and he was not committing more on the hands if you notice in the first two rounds. We were not really committing that much on the hand but in the third round, Arsenba really started connecting with those hands.
I think all three fights showed that we are not kickboxers, we are not wrestlers, we are not jiu-jitsu athletes, and we are MMA athletes. Like be it standing, be it on the ground, be it against the cage, I wouldn’t say we excel in everything, but we are comfortable wherever it goes.
Even on the ground, we had noticed Bishwamitra is a scrambler. He scrambles a lot and he has beaten all his opponents due to his athleticism. He is a lot more athletic than everyone else so he scrambles. So, for, on the ground, we discussed that don't give him space once we go down to the ground. So, there's no need to play that scramble game with him, just hold him. And in the third round, we did go to the ground you could see Arsenba was just controlling him completely there was no question of like losing position by hitting and allowing the scramble to happen,”
Arsenba came into the fight on the back of an impressive amateur record which saw him pick up multiple national championship medals while also securing a medal at the International amateur tournaments from GAMMA.
What do you think of the strategy that was in place for Arsenba? Let us know in the comment section below. [Photo Courtesy: Matrix Fight Night]