Self-Defense was the only thing that Rana Rudra Pratap Singh had in his mind when he first took up combat sports almost a decade back. Fast forward to the present, things are completely different for him.
Starting Days in Lucknow
Hailing from a small village in Uttar Pradesh, Rana’s first taste of combat sports came thanks to Boxing in the year of 2011. Two years later, he came across Mixed Martial Arts on television and was immediately hooked. At Yogya MMA in Lucknow, he made baby steps in the sport, and to this day, he still trains at the gym while also acquiring skills from everywhere possible.
The lack of visibility of the sport resulted in an initial resistance from his family but he had no plans of giving up and continued to grind it out.
Five years later, he stepped into the cage in Delhi for his professional MMA debut against Najibullah Muhammad of Afghanistan. Rana ended up winning the fight with a finish and marked the start of an impressive undefeated run which saw him pile up 10 wins across multiple promotions and countries.
The Fight against Jawed Ahmadi and ONE Warrior Series
The last two fights of Rana, in particular, have been impressive. At Fight of Knights, he got a triangle submission win against Jawed Ahmadi of Afghanistan and it was a comeback victory for him as he was almost at the brink of losing the fight.
Right after this, he got a call to ONE Warrior Series where he submitted his Korean counterpart Seung Hyun Cho in under two minutes itself. Rana holds both these wins close to his heart.
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh: I had a fight against Afghanistan just before my fight at ONE Warrior Series. I was losing that fight but in the end moment, I managed to win the fight which was very memorable. The second-most memorable moment for me was representing India at ONE Warrior Series. It was a big thing and I was able to deliver a good performance as well by finishing the fight in the first round itself.
He also remembers that he needed a moment to process his win at ONE Warrior Series.
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh: It is a dream of every Indian fighter to represent the nation at a platform like ONE Championship. I also had that dream. After winning there, I couldn’t believe for a few seconds that it is actually happening. It felt so great.
The support from Boxing Club in Kochi and UFC Dreams
One of the major support factors for Rana has been The Title Boxing Club in Kochi.
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh: I’m getting good support from Title Boxing Club in Kochi. Things like diet and others are being supported by them. It is very helpful for me. I’m getting support from my friends and family as well now.
Former Junior Mr. India and the man behind Title Boxing Club Kochi, KS Vinod notes that the team is proud to support Rana and notes that he could be a motivation for the upcoming MMA fighters. Rana, meanwhile, plans to keep this faith in tact and represent the nation in the UFC someday.
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh: The goal is to represent India in UFC. As of now only one Indian fighter has represented India in the UFC and I would love to be the second-Indian to do so. It will be a very big thing.
Prior to that, he added that he would love to have some fights both domestically and internationally. He was supposed to fight fellow Indian fighter Mohammed Farhad at BRAVE CF 30 but the fight did not go through. Rana is still interested to lock horns with Farhad inside the cage and at the same time, has his eyes set on Ahmed Belal of Afghanistan. Apart from these two, there is another interesting name that Rana wants to fight.
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh: I would love to fight Dhruv Chaudhary once. I had called him out after once on video after a fight and he had seen it as well but I did not get any response. I would love to have that fight.
Currently the top-ranked featherweight in Asia South according to Tapology, Rana concluded by saying that he gets lots of love and support from the country and is hopeful that he will continue getting the same when he embarks on conquering bigger goals.