Gurdarshan Mangat secured his third win in ONE Championship when he defeated Roshan Mainam at ONE: Dangal a few weeks back. Gurdarshan, who was coming off a defeat against Reece McLaren had a dominant showing against Roshan and went home with a unanimous decision victory as well.
Prior to Roshan picking up the fight on short notice, Gurdarshan was scheduled to face Geje Eustaquio at ONE: Dangal. Unfortunately, Eustaquio had to pull out resulting in the showdown between Gurdarshan and Roshan.
After the fight, we managed to catch up with Gurdarshan for an exclusive where he opened up about his fight with Roshan Mainam at ONE: Dangal, his battle with COVID-19, why Roshan Mainam is the future of Indian MMA, why a fight with Geje Eustaquio is important, a potential rematch with Stephen Loman, and much more. You can see the complete interview below along with the highlights.
On his win at ONE: Dangal
I feel good. It was nice to get in there after 17 months so it was nice to get those three rounds and represent on a very big card that was very well promoted for the Indian audience. So it was definitely an amazing moment.
His battle with COVID-19
I had a big issue when I had COVID-19. My lungs got really messed up from it. So for me to train for a fight to rebuild, was a tough task. The fight week in Singapore was very strict with security and everything and the way they had the bubble created. We were not able to see anybody else other than the corner that we came with. It was well done especially during these times.
Fighting Roshan Mainam on short notice
We had no game plan going into that fight because it was so short notice. We were getting ready for somebody's completely different, completely different style. But luckily when we prepared, I trained rounded. So adjustment was just really going out there and does what I do best. I knew I’d be better everywhere, I knew my endurance would be better but I would only find that out after the finish of the first round. I’ve never seen him go to rounds second and three. All his fights have ended in the first-round in ONE Championship so I was going to see if he could really handle rounds two and three and I think I got the better of him in those situations.
Why Roshan Mainam is the future of Indian MMA
I still believe Roshan’s one of the best. I think it just wasn’t his night. I also understand that he is a young kid. He’s 25. The place that he’s been to and where he is at, I wasn’t at when I was 25. So after the fight, I told him, you are miles ahead of where I was when I was at the age of 25. I wasn’t at a major organization and he’s already there. I understand that I defeated him but that was experience. I knew how to handle it as I’ve been in there for three rounds with some of the best guys but I told him to rebuild himself. My opinion of him doesn’t change. I told him that our relationship wouldn’t change. I spoke to him, I told him to keep his head up, I told him to keep training. I still believe he is one of the best, give him a few years and he will be one of the guys carrying the Indian MMA scene.
Why he wants to fights Geje Eustaquio
I want to fight the guy I was originally supposed to fight two times in a row. First, in October, it got canceled because of me since I had COVID, this time it happened to him because he got COVID. So now this is the former champion (Geje Eustaquio) from the Philippines, Team Lakay. So I think if I beat him within three rounds, I do what the Flyweight Champion hasn’t done in ten rounds. So I think I would make quite a big statement and fast-track myself to the Flyweight Title. I think outside of Demetrious Johnson, I’m the biggest fight in the Flyweight division for Adriano because of the audience that I bring, because of the historical significance, because of the Indian audience, because hopefully things will open up and we can do it in India and we can face the champ there. So I think if I beat Eustaquio within three rounds I would do something that Adriano couldn’t do in ten rounds.
A potential fight with Stephen Loman
Loman fights a weight class up. Unless he comes down to Flyweight, even when the previous fight happened between us, he was heavier and I was around 140 pounds on the day of the fight and I was fighting at 135 and we know how big 135 pounders can get and he was stockier too if you look at that fight. This was why I made the move to 125 because of situations like that. If that fight has to happen, he has to come down to my weight class unless there is something really appealing for me.
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