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Rupjyoti Choudhary dreams to pave a path for future MMA champions from Assam

Renjith Ravindran
Calendar Icon19 July 2020

17 December 2019 was the date. Brazilian MMA promotion Thunder Fight was hosting their latest event Thunder Fight 21: Shockwave and the opening fight of the night saw Indian MMA fighter Rupjyoti Choudhary going up against Brazil’s Valdiran Oliveira.

18 seconds is how long the fight lasted. The young Indian who came from the Nalbari Village in Assam knocked out his Brazilian counterpart in front of the Brazilian audience and sent shockwaves across the arena.

The starting days in Assam

Rupjyoti Choudhary was born in the Nalbari Village in Assam and was dependent on his father who was a farmer. A young Rupjyoti, who had three brothers and three sisters, was fascinated by Martial Arts and started taking up Taekwondo and Kung-Fu back in 2006.

It was almost nine years later that he transitioned into MMA when he had the urge to learn a sport in which he could showcase both grappling and striking.

His family was not particularly entertained by the switch that Rupjyoti did as they wanted him to pursue a job in the Assam Police Department. A good portion of his friends also was against the idea as well with the only exception being Kankaraj Sarma who motivated Rupjyoti.

He went forward with the training anyways despite the odds being stacked against him, motivated by dream of better days for his family and community.

Rupjyoti Choudhary: Since the training location was far away from my home I had to move closer to the location and rented a small room in a slum area. All I had with me was my training gear, 2 bedsheets, and some utensils. I cooked with wood/coal and 4 bricks. I didn't even have a phone to call my family. But I was consumed in silent rage and was determined to prove myself. Every time I felt bad for myself I reminded myself of the naysayers and my cancer-stricken father and how I want to improve the standard of living for my family, loved ones and my community.

Bangalore and KOI Combat Academy

Rupjyoti entered the MMA cage for the first time in Mizoram when the state hosted the SFL Contender Series. He managed to get three wins at the event including a nine-second knockout in his first fight. Even at this stage, he was struggling at a financial level which forced him to take up random fights.

Rupjyoti Choudhary: I faced major financial crisis due to which I participated in many open challenge fights in North East and won many times and won money other times I came home with injuries and no money.

At this point, he realized that his grappling skills required improvement and this made him travel out of Assam. He ended up in Bangalore in his pursuit and applied for a job in Fitness Fight Club while also competing in the tournaments that happened around the area.

It was during this phase that he competed in the AIMMAA Indian Open MMA championship. Nova Acao’s Cristiano Souza spotted Rupjyoti and invited him over to Brazil for training.

He subsequently applied for a visa and unfortunately for him, it was initially declined. He soon reapplied with the help of Cristiano Souza and during the gap in which his visa was processed; Rupjyoti landed in KOI Combat Academy under coach Vishal Seigell and Indian MMA  star Roshan Mainam.

Rupjyoti, who is nicknamed 'The Afro Samurai', sees Vishal as his mentor and Roshan as his brother, found a second home in the guidance of these two at KOI Combat Academy. He credits a lot of his improvement to the gym and went through some rigorous training before his trip to Brazil.

Training and competing in Brazil

The Brazilian government granted a two-year athletic visa for Rupjyoti thanks to the help from Cristiano Souza. He soon started training at Nova Acao and earned his purple belt in BJJ.

Not only this, but he also started making an impact in the submission tournaments that happened there and followed it up with his quick knockout victory at Thunder Fight event.

Rupjyoti Choudhary: I won a Gold medal in BJJ GI and a Silver medal in Submission fighting at the Golden Talent BJJ event in Brazil 2019. Then I got the fastest knockout victory in the first round at Thunder Fight Event which was the fastest record of the league. I got 2 Gold medals and 1 Silver medal as a whole. -This is beyond my expectation and I learnt a lot about my resilience and indomitable spirit.

His stay in Brazil, however, was cut short due to the poor health of his father. Rupjyoti’s father is battling with chronic liver cancer and had to be taken for treatment in Chennai at that time.

The dream to be a black belt in BJJ.

Back from his stint in Brazil, Rupjyoti is currently in Bangalore where he is busy working towards his dream. In the long run, he hopes to become a black belt in BJJ and create future champions from his state of Assam.

Rupjyoti Choudhary: I aim to improve and soak in as much knowledge as possible. I also want to earn a black belt in BJJ. In future, I want to introduce authentic BJJ and Submission Grappling for MMA and MMA training in Assam. I feel there is a lot of talent where I come from that needs proper guidance and mentoring. I want to pave a way for future Champions from Assam and India.


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