Indian MMA

EXCLUSIVE: Team India talks about the 2019 IMMAF - WMMAA World Championships

The 2019 edition of the IMMAF-WMMAA World Championship is almost here. The event, which will happen at the Khalifa Sports City in Bahrain from 10 November to 16 November, is all set to host some of the best amateur MMA athletes from around the world.

A strong Indian team is also headed to the event with a total of 11 fighters competing across the Senior and Junior World Championships. Eight of these fighters will be competing at the senior World Championships and while three fighters will be competing in the Junior World Championships.

Ahead of the historic event, we managed to get in touch with some fighters on the Senior Indian Team and here’s what they had to say about their hopes, preperations and expectations for the event.

Surbala Laishram: (Women’s Atomweight)

“The day is already here for us to leave. I have feeling confident and feel we have done as much as we could. We got to work with 4 different coaches at the fight camp and others who came to be a part of fight camp.

I got selected to fight for IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships after I won Gold in the Strawweight category and was adjudged Best Fighter in the 5th Bengaluru Open MMA Championship organized by AMMAK and sanctioned MMA INDIA.

My team members, seniors and Da Roshan have been very instrumental in my success. I have fought International tournaments before but this by far would be the biggest and my first in MMA. We as a team/Family have worked hard.

I have worked hard and am focused to give a great performance. I thank Coach Vishal from the bottom of my heart who teaches, guides, scolds us to become great fighters and great humans. I have never been with a coach who does so much well for us his children his fighters. This one is for my country India and my family in Manipur and here at Koi Fight Team. I am ready,”

Karan Nitin Chauhan (Men’s Featherweight)

“The IMMAF World Championships is a tournament I’ve looked upto and hoped to participate in for a really long time. At one point it seemed like a far fetched dream but after persistence and I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been. And I feel honoured to be a part of this prestigious event.

My hopes and expectations from this event is to show the world what Indian MMA is all about. MMA itself has made tremendous leaps and bounds in the past 10 years and Indian MMA has grown at just same rate. And now when it’s bigger than ever, we’re better than ever.”

Naorem Dinesh (Men’s Flyweight)

“I am very excited to have been selected for IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships 2019 to he held on Bahrain. I thank MMA India and AMMAK . I have worked hard and want to make a name for Indian Meitei combat athletes.  I want to make India and Manipur proud. I am aiming to give a great performance and aim for the gold. I thank Brother Roshan Mainam for pushing me to start MMA and thank my Fight Team KOI Combat Academy members who have taught me so much. I thank my Coach Ojha Vishal Vishal Seigell for working with me teaching me about so much more than just MMA. I will make my country proud.”

Mahboob Khan Mohammed (Men’s Strawweight)

Athul Hotker (Men’s Lightweight)

“It all started with just waking up someday and telling my self that I was't just here to be a normal human. Representing India in MMA had always been a dream which is soon going to be reality, it was a beautiful journey filled with lots and lots of hard work and just some extraordinary will power . Today while I'm preparing for my world championship I would just want to thank that entire people who have helped me throughout. Lastly I just want to say that no matter what happens in the end I'm glad I reached so far”

Vaibhav Shetty (Men’s Middleweight)

Balakrishna Patange (Men’s Welterweight)

Along with these seven athletes, Jishal Parmar will also be competing in the Senior World Championships in the Women’s Bantamweight Category while the likes of Arjun Pundir, Akash Paulkar and Khushi Gohel will be representing the nation in the Junior World Championship.

With a strong team and plenty of preparation to show, the 2019 edition of the IMMAF-WMMAA World Championship could be a milestone event for Indian MMA. Let’s do our part and cheer our champions as they go for glory in Bahrain.

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