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Genetic Disorder to Money: How Ning Gogoi is fighting the odds for his dreams

LockerRoom Team
17 April 2021

Ning Gogoi always wanted to be a sportsman. From his childhood days itself, he dreamt of it despite being born with a genetic disorder called ‘E Disease’ due to which he could not produce enough hemoglobin. While it was something that least bothered him, his parents were a bit concerned with Young Ning’s obsession with sports due to obvious reasons.

“I was a 'Dheet' I pushed myself and completed a 4 km race at the age of 15. I realized it's the mind playing games with me...I can do it...if I pushed myself beyond limits,” he recalls how he convinced his parents that he had that fire inside him.

He soon started playing football and it was during one of his football sessions in his 11th standard that he came across boxing.

“I was playing football during my 11th standard and I saw boxing discipline ongoing with their workouts. I wanted to try it just for fun and rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love with combat sports. I started off with boxing and I was under a coach who also produced numerous national champions and Olympian from Assam. I wasn't the best in that but I learned the gave me the base. Like I always say "Boxing is the mother of all combat sports". Greatly inspired by the living Legend Roy Jones Jr, I used to travel for 1.5 hrs in a bus for training. good old days,” Ning said.

The disaster debut in boxing

Fitness and Finance was a huge problem for Ning. He adjusted his body to overcome the genetic disorder through Folic acid supplements and aerobic workouts. He worked in multiple places to cover up the expenses as well. Amidst a slight resistance from his family, Ning went on to have his first combat sports fight. It was in Boxing and though it was a disaster, he is still motivated by it.

“My first was boxing. It was a disaster. I was so broken. I took a passport size pic of my opponent and pasted it in my bed. Whenever I didn't feel like training or was not giving 100%, the pic would remind me of the humble bashing I got that day and I would work hard to not mess up again,” he said.

One thing led to another and Ning soon made the transition to Muay-Thai. He started fighting internationally and even secured multiple wins on foreign soil. There is one fight in particular, which he keeps close to his heart as it taught him many things.

“My most memorable fight was against a Japanese k1 fighter back in 2017. He taught me the art of being calm during chaos. I got bashed badly due to my restlessness. Got knockdown twice. Had a rough time with him inside the square. but I learned a lot. Now during every fight, I speak to myself and say "calm down, or I will get bashed again". I also remember a fight from Patong stadium where my opponent was 6 feet and he broke my nose with an elbow. I managed to win that fight. but got a Cosmetic noselift for free and also getting paid for it,” he says.

The Combat Sports Culture in North East

Along with focussing on his own combat sports career, Ning has been fortunate enough to join hands with fellow athletes from North East. Abrasumente Academy in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh is one such collaboration.

“Abrasumente academy is my home. Higio Tarak had a vision of creating champions from our area and we both took the matter into our hands to try our best to give mother India some fine grapplers and strikers. We managed to bag Gold in ADCC and kickboxing in Delhi nationals and silver in Muaythai in just a span of 7 months of training. Shout out to my Abrasumente family,”

He also feels that there is a lot of hidden potential in the North East when it comes to combat sports.

North East India is a fight hub. Here there are many undiscovered talents in combat sports. We all came up from a warrior clan. So war and combat are in our blood. More tournaments. More fights every year will give the athletes to train and work for a purpose. This will also give an opportunity for the undiscovered talent to get discovered,” Ning added.

The problems and his Pakistani friend

Despite having an impressive record to show off, Ning has been struggling to build up a career. Financial support is the main hurdle for Ning at the moment. He lost many opportunities due to lack of sponsorships and vividly recalls how a person from Pakistan helped him during one of his toughest times.

“The main problem is financial problems. Due to a lack of financial help and support, I couldn't travel to Thailand and train and fight there. I once got stuck in Thailand due to financial issues and had to live in a storeroom of a Pakistani Gentleman who was kind enough to let me stay in his storeroom. During that time I only had one meal and used to train two times a day and run almost 10 km every day. He was kind enough to offer me another meal just a week before my fight saying "You should eat one more meal so that you can train hard" I still bow down to him for helping me in a much worse situation. Also shoutout to Anil Mehta and Atin gaur for helping me those tough days. They are the real G,” he said.

No matter what is being thrown at him, Ning keeps going. Overcoming the hurdles one by one, he is aiming to keep the tricolor high whenever he steps into fight.

“My plan is to rise in the ranks in my weight class and bring home some trophies and belts. And keep our tri-color high,” he concluded.

ALSO WATCH: From being a cop to being one of India's top Muay-Thai Fighters - Interview with Anil Mehta

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