Manjit Kolekar is one of the most successful Indian MMA fighters out there, period.
The first-ever winner of SFL Challengers, Manjit currently holds a professional record of 11-4 and is also the first Indian female fighter to fight in Invicta Fighting Championship and Brave Combat Federation.
The latest addition in her long and illustrious resume came at Brave CF 30 in Hyderabad where she fought Samin Beik. While the result didn’t go in favour of Manjit due to a doctor’s stoppage, the image of a bloodied up Manjit picking apart her opponent is something that is going to last for a long time.
Although Manjit felt bad about the stoppage, she has accepted the fact that the doctors were doing their job and was grateful towards Brave CF president Mohammed Shahid for providing the platform for Indian fighters.
Manjit Kolekar: I felt so bad when the Doctor’s stoppage happened. Even though it was a short notice fight, the training camp at the gym was so good. I knew that this fight was so important to me. The crowd support was very great as well. I felt very bad when it was stopped but what can we do. Doctors need to take care of the fighter’s safety.
Along with the cut on her head that led to the doctor’s stoppage, Manjit had actually picked up another injury that could keep her on the sidelines for quite some time.
Manjit Kolekar: My leg got twisted in between the fight. I thought it would be okay but when I went to the hospital, doctors said that it’s actually a ligament issue that occurred due to the twist.
After her recovery, she wants to get right back into the mix. Maria Ribeiro, who also fought at Brave CF 30, is a name that interests Manjit. Maria had lost her fight at the event via a decision and a showdown between Maria and Manjit could turn out to be an interesting outing.
Manjit Kolekar: If the fans want to see me fighting Maria, then I’m ready for that.
Another plan that Manjit has in her mind is to make a potential return to Invicta Fighting Championship. She hopes to fight in the promotion soon and thanked Invicta President Shannon Knapp for all the support.
Manjit Kolekar: I need to say thanks to Shannon [Knapp] M’am. She has supported a lot. Whenever an Invicta fighter gets the chance to fight in any other promotion, she gives permission and does not interfere in the fight purse as well. If you look at some other promotions, some of them take 20 or 30 per cent if you fight in another promotion but Invicta does not. Once again, I would like to thank Shannon M’am for giving me permission to fight in Brave CF.
Along with Shannon, two other teams have played a huge role in Manjit’s recent outings: Syndicate MMA and Indian Combat Sports Academy. Manjit spent some quality time in Syndicate MMA ahead of her last Invicta fight and had some great things to say about the team.
Manjit Kolekar: The time I spent at Syndicate MMA was great. Roxanne [Modafferi] helped me a lot and when I saw her very closely, I understood that she is one of the most-hardworking and focussed fighters out there. She is also very supportive of fellow fighters which I think is a very great quality. The whole Syndicate team supported me so much when I was there and I’m thankful and happy for that.
Indian Combat Sports Academy, meanwhile, played an equally important role ahead of Manjit’s outing at Brave CF 30.
Manjit Kolekar: I got some recommendations about ICSA and after I joined there for my fight camp, Srikant [Sekhar] helped me a lot. When I was going for my camp, there were some issue at my home and my fight was also so close. So he allowed me to stay in his house at time and even cooked food for me. He helped out a lot. All the teammates actually, Shyam, Kantharaj, Jitesh, and everyone else helped out a lot and I would like to thank them for all the support they showed towards me.
With her return to the cage likely to happen sooner or later, Manjit also had a message for the Indian fans and media out there. Here’s what she had to say.
Manjit Kolekar: I just have this to say to the Indian fans and media that everyone should support the fighters equally. Every fighter out there is working hard but only certain fighters get more support and media attention. For instance, Brave CF 30 happened and Rahul Raju won an India vs. Pakistan fight in ONE championship, but the media attention and fan support was less for all these. There are a lot of good fighters out there like Kantharaj is there, Srikant is there. Like they also need support. All of us came from zero. It’s just that fans and the media here should support all the fighters like they are supporting some fighters that are all over the news for their debut. Like, that’s it, just support everyone equally.