The greatest shock in Zia Mashwani's life was when he moved from his village to a city. It was a tremulous phase in his life as he adjusted his lifestyle to meet the demands of the city. He did all of it for one reason: his love for the sport of MMA. Fast forward to a few years later, and he will be representing Pakistan in the fastest-growing MMA organization in the world, as he takes on Nkosi Ndebele at BRAVE CF 45, set for this Thursday, November 19th.
Moving from the village to the city was like moving to a different planet in Zia's view. "I was used to being close to my family and friends, leaving all of them was hard. The city life was completely different from what I was used to. The clothes they wore were different, there were many cultural differences. Coupled with all of this was being on very limited means in terms of money so I had to face many difficulties"
Despite feeling the adversities of his new life, Zia was more determined than ever to make it as an MMA fighter. Such was his passion. His love for martial arts, especially wrestling has a deeper story. He was inspired by his late grandfather who was a gifted wrestler and a well-known Kabadi player in his village.
"My grandfather taught me Kabadi which is a sport that needs wrestling skills. It is a very physical sport that requires wrestling skills. Playing Kabadi and training with my grandfather and uncles made me very interested in not only the sport but also in wrestling"
After becoming a star Kabadi player in his village, Zia turned his attention towards wrestling and MMA. "After a while, I knew I needed to leave my village to pursue my dream of becoming the best MMA fighter that I can be"
"My goal is to make my village and my country proud by becoming the BRAVE CF champion."
Now fighting out of Team Fight Fortress, a top gym in Pakistan, Zia remains a highly-touted Pakistani prospect. He has three wins in his career including a win in BRAVE CF against John Cris Corton. He will face the biggest challenge of his career so far when he faces a fellow top prospect in Nkosi.