Ishika Thite is set to make her return this weekend at Matrix Fight Night 4. She will be going up against Kerala’s Naipunya Sunil at the event which happens in Dubai on February 28, 2020, and will be eagerly looking to bounce back from the defeat that she suffered at Matrix Fight Night 2.
For the uninitiated, Ishika made her professional debut at Matrix Fight Night 2 and went the distance with Aarti Khatri. The fight was ruled in favour of Aarti via a split decision. While Ishika admits that there was a lack of effort from her side, she is looking forward to a rematch with Aarti sometime in the future.
Ishika Thite: My last fight I lacked efforts in the cage. That I have rectified for sure. It was a close call which ended in a split decision. Also, they should have deducted a point from her, she hit 12 to 6 elbow thrice which is illegal. There was no point deduction, but at least there should have been a verbal warning. Rematch with Aarti will definitely happen but not anywhere in the near future. I will take down on other opponents first.
Ishika’s game plan of taking down other opponents first before fighting Aarti will have a major roadblock in the form of Naipunya at MFN 4. Fighting out of Kozhikode, Naipunya has plenty of experience in the amateur scene to showcase and was the first-ever Indian fighter to fight at the IMMAF World Championship. Despite the resume that her opponent holds, Ishika is confident and says that she has answers to all the questions that Naipunya can raise.
Ishika Thite: My preparations are going good and I’m feeling very confident. Naipunya is a well-rounded fighter and has world championship experience too. It's gonna be a good fight. I have an answer to wherever the fight goes. I’m quick to adapt in cage and counter according to the situation. I never plan ahead of my fight because that narrows down a fighter. I am open to all options and flow with them.
While Naipunya is indeed the immediate concern for Ishika, she is also looking forward to the rumoured Championship belt introduction into Matrix Fight Night.
Ishika Thite: Yes, surely they would be having a belt in every division gradually. I feel it's very important, because that way, it gets more competitive. It's like an ultimate trophy you want to take home, apart from the win.
Beyond all this, Ishika has a clear-cut mission about how she wants to improve the MMA scene in Gujarat with the help of Matrix Fight Night.
Ishika Thite: People of Gujarat have started knowing me because of MFN. And that's how they are more interested in MMA now. There is a lot of talent in Gujarat, but they are more into traditional Martial arts like karate and all, because MMA is very new to them and there was no experienced coach or pro-MMA fighter from Gujarat till now. I’m the 1st pro-MMA fighter from Gujarat and I really want to make a mark, inspire all my fellow Gujaratis and provide them with right MMA training. Matrix Fight Night is providing the best platform to the elite Indian MMA fighters which are helping not only the fighters but also in spreading awareness and knowledge about MMA in India.
Ishika Thite vs. Naipunya Sunil will be one of the seven fights that have been announced for Matrix Fight Night 4. The card will be headlined by the showdown between Jason Ramesh Solomon and Pawan Maan who will be locking horns for the second time after Jason took home the win in the first fight.
Who do you think will get the win at MFN 4? Ishika or Naipunya? Let us know in the comments below.
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