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I am My Own Competition: Dhruv Chaudhary details his MMA career so far

Renjith Ravindran
20 September 2020

Dhruv Chaudhary is someone that needs no introduction in the Indian MMA circuit. He has been actively competing for a better part of the last decade and has piled up a professional MMA record of 14-7 to his name across this time span.

The starting days with Wushu and Kickboxing:

Though he is currently one of the well-known names in Indian MMA, it was not with Mixed Martial Arts that he stepped into the world of Combat Sports. As a youngster, Dhruv simply took up what was accessible to him in his hometown of Meerut in order to quench his thirst to try out new things.  

Dhruv Chaudhary: For me, Combat was something that I always wanted to be a part of and whatever was easily available in my hometown I took it up. I had a lot of friends who used to train on open fields be it for Kickboxing or Wushu and it didn’t take me long to join them since school and that was the beginning of it all.

The combat sports journey of Dhruv eventually found support from his family after a slight initial resistance. The lack of facilities in his hometown didn’t deter him either. He accepted whatever was given to him and remained focussed on his journey to become the best version of himself.

Getting interested in MMA

The first exposure of MMA for Dhruv came thanks to the Super Fight League Challengers which was broadcasted on Television almost eight years back. Intrigued by the sport, he tried contacting the promotion but his initial efforts went in vain.

Sometime later, however, he came to know about the SFL Bootcamp in Nashik and decided to take a leap.

Dhruv Chaudhary: I was very raw to MMA and had just seen some random fights and heard from friends about SFL and this tough bootcamp that you are supposed to survive to get a chance to fight in SFL.I was like a fish out of water when I started my training there under Coach Alan Fenandes who used to run that famous bootcamp. And every few weeks there used to be these Contender fights for the main SFL show where I got picked up for my Pro debut against Sumeet Khade by then CEO of SFL Daniel Isaac.

This proved to be the start of a very long association with the Super Fight League for Dhruv. He actively competed in the promotion from 2013 to all the way till 2018 across which he secured multiple wins. There are, however, a couple of things that Dhruv holds closer to his heart.

Dhruv Chaudhary: SFL was probably the best thing that happened for Indian MMA in 2012. For me as a fighter, I received a lot of exposure and experience from there so I have nothing but good memories from SFL. My Best [memory] would be fighting against Chaitanya Gavali who was brought in to beat me and was highly favoured on paper but that win will be my special and then the second would be leading the Bengaluru Tigers as a Team for two years.

The entry to Matrix Fight Night and Memorable Rivalries:

2019 marked the start of a new chapter for Dhruv. The year saw the inception of Matrix Fight Night and Dhruv found himself on the first event itself where he defeated Pawan Goyat. It was his experience of leading the Bengaluru Tigers in Super Fight League that landed him the opportunity.

Dhruv Chaudhary: MFN has redefined MMA for the whole country. MFN is run by none other than the Shroff Family. I was leading the Bengaluru Tigers for Tiger Shroff and God was kind to me my capabilities as a fighter shone and they noticed me for MFN. MFN is probably going to be the promotion that India needs as their interests and intentions are very clear for Indian MMA and Indian MMA Fighters.

Matrix Fight Night also witnessed the rebirth of two rivalries for Dhruv: One with Sumeet Khade and another with Angad Bisht. Sumeet had defeated Dhruv back in 2013 and Dhruv managed to level the scores at MFN 3 with a decision victory. As for Angad, it was a reverse scenario. Dhruv had secured a win against Angad back in 2018 and at MFN 2, Angad levelled the score with a decision win. With both the rivalries standing at 1-1, two potential trilogies loom around the corner for Dhruv.

Dhruv Chaudhary:  Sumeet and I have always put up tough fights and I know the score is 1-1 but that will change soon in my favour. Angad Bisht is probably the future of the featherweight division. Both these fighters have been worthy opponents and great human beings and I’m honoured to have shared the cage with them.

The bigger picture and giving back to his hometown:

Apart from fighting, he is also someone that loves to train people. Dhruv currently works as a trainer at Matrix Gym and used to train people at Cult as well prior to this. In the long run, he hopes to open up a training centre back in his home town.

Dhruv Chaudhary: Training people gives me peace and teaching people is my give back for what I have learned. Well, that [opening a gym in Meerut] is certainly a dream and Meerut has a massive talent pool that I would want to have a full-fledged MMA facility for so yes that’s definitely on the cards.

Beyond all the rivalries and his love for teaching, Dhruv is someone who hopes to improve himself. He is thankful for what MMA has given to him and believes that he is his own competition.

Dhruv Chaudhary: MMA has given me a new life to cherish. I can only that grown as a person and definitely as a fighter from when I started. [What motivates me is] The Drive to be a better fighter than what I was in my last fight. I am my own competition.

Image Courtesy: Matrix Fight Night

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