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MMA India Empowers Athletes with New Athlete Commission

LockerRoom Team
14 August 2023

In a monumental step towards promoting athlete welfare and amplifying their voices, MMA India has officially established its Athlete Commission.

The commission's formation comes as a result of a meticulous process involving nominations and elections from athletes across the nation which occurred during the MMA India Nationals in Lucknow which happened in May 2023. Ajay Marwah, VP MMA INDIA was the Observer of this election

Designed to bridge the communication gap and ensure that the concerns and perspectives of athletes are effectively conveyed to the federation and reciprocally, the Athlete Commission stands as a vital conduit for constructive dialogue and impactful change.

The newly formed Athlete Commission is composed of esteemed athletes who bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the table. Leading the charge as the Chairperson is Mohammed Bilal, a seasoned Professional MMA Fighter and Telangana State Team Coach. Bilal boasts an impressive pro fight record of 3-1-0 and an amateur fight record of 27-8-0, showcasing his dedication to combat sports since 2012.

Assuming the role of Vice-Chairperson is Adv. Surabhi Sankhla, a dynamic MMA India Athlete representing Madhya Pradesh. With an illustrious journey marked by unwavering dedication, Surabhi holds the distinction of being a National Champion and Indian Open Champion in two weight categories. Beyond her athletic pursuits, Surabhi's multi-faceted life extends to practicing as an advocate at the High Court, Indore, and editing the renowned magazine "Café Social." 

Kavyashree K, a representative of Karnataka State and a Karnataka Team Coach, takes on the role of Secretary. Her dedication to combat sports since 2016 reflects her commitment to the sport's growth and development.

The Athlete Commission also includes dedicated members who are poised to make a lasting impact. Mayur Chandra Prasad, an Amateur MMA fighter representing Chhattisgarh State, boasts an impressive amateur record of 28-6-0. Afshan R. N from Tamil Nadu, with an unblemished amateur MMA record of 5-0, brings her passion and dedication to the commission. Shukaib Rather, hailing from Kashmir, has been involved in combat sports since 2014 and has been representing J&K MMA and MMA India since 2020, boasting an Amateur Circuit record of 10-3-0. Shubham Pandey, an Amateur MMA athlete from Maharashtra State, has maintained an undefeated amateur record of 9-0 since 2020.

The inception of the Athlete Commission marks a pivotal moment for MMA India and its athletes.

“The Foundation of any Federation are the athletes and we feel proud to form this Commission which is led by all the Top athletes of MMA INDIA keeping in mind Gender Equity.  Have a lot of expectations from this Commission and our Blessings are there with them & the upcoming talents of the National Federation,” MMA India President, Director South Asia AMMAF and Ambassador FIT INDIA, Sharif Bapu noted in an exclusive statement.

MMA India Secretary General and international IMMAF official Prasad Gaitonde also gave his take on the formation.

“I am delighted to announce the formation of the Athlete Commission under the banner of MMA India Federation. Athletes are the backbone of our sport & they deserve a platform to have clarity on the things that directly impact their lives and careers. By establishing this commission through a democratic process of nominations and elections, we are ensuring that athletes have a direct hand in shaping the future of MMA in India. This commission will serve as a bridge between the athletes and the federation, addressing concerns, sharing insights, and proposing initiatives that enhance the overall experience of MMA athletes in our country,” he said.

You can see the Athlete Commission members below.

  • Chairperson: Mohammed Bilal
  • Vice Chairperson: Adv.Surabhi Sankhla
  • Secretary: Kavyashree K
  • Member: Mayur Chandra Prasad
  • Member: Afshan RN
  • Member: Shukaib Rather
  • Member: Shubham Pandey

What are your thoughts on the athlete commission? Let us know in the comments below.

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