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MMA Fighter Overseas
Nelson Paes scripting the first ever win for India at an international MMA event to Manjit Kolekar making her Invicta FC debut, 2016 has been a landmark year for our Indian MMA fighters. We may not have seen the desired result but for an Indian fighter competing at an international event is a huge achievement in its own right. I say so because most of our fighters don’t have basic facilities like a proper coach despite this our fighters manage to compete on an international platform.
Honouring these fighters who brought huge attention to Indian MMA, here are the some of the fighters who made their presence known to the world.
- Priyanka Jeet Toshi
The Delhi-girl made her presence known to the world when she earned a unanimous verdict over Tarot Sam back in December 2015. However, the Delhi girl could not continue her winning streak this year as she succumbed to the undefeated top contender Jenny Huang by tapping out to arm triangle choke in September on ONE FC: Unbreakable warriors.Toshi may have lost but the way she fought it clearly showed that she had improved by leaps and bounds. A kickboxer, Toshi’s ground game was never top notch but when she faced Huang, who is a Judo black belt, she showed drastic improvement in defending takedowns and even managed to keep Huang on her feet for some time. She saw a great beginning by managing to land a few quick shots in the fight but Toshi couldn’t maintain the pressure as Huang, who is a trained veteran in combat sports, overwhelmed her on the ground and caught her in the hold.The 25-year-old has a huge career ahead of her and the way she is improving it is safe to say that someday she will make India proud on an international platform.
- Sunny Khatri
Khatri entered 2016 with quite some momentum behind him. He had turned pro in 2015 and added two wins to his resume. He continued his march as he forced Himanshu Gautam to tap out to a vicious rear naked choke in the very first round of their encounter in an amateur match. Khatri soon attracted attention from across the borders as he was announced as a part of the Brave CF-1 where he would meet Bahrain’s Atif Mohammad Khadim.Khadim entered the bout as a favourite and was expected to finish Khatri in the very first round but Khatri wouldn’t only survive the first round he would go on to take the fight to the judges. Despite losing Khatri did convince people that he was a legit contender who was there to stay. The straw-weight has a bright future awaiting him as he continues to improve.
- Mohammed Farhad Rafiq
Farhad was one of 3 Indian fighters to compete in the first ever card of Brave Combat Federation. Everyone gave an impressive performance but it was Farhad who walked out with his hand raised. The bantamweight had entered the Brave cage with huge momentum behind him as he had been on a four-fight winning streak, knocking all the four out so without any surprise he was the favourite when he entered the cage. Farhad didn’t only live up to his expectation he lived beyond it.He dominated the fight from start and produced a stellar performance. He ended the fight in the very second round as he knocked out the debutant Zouhir Badre-Eddine via punches. Now holding a record of 8-2, with all 8 being knockouts Farhad clearly is one of the best Indian MMA fighters.
- Abdul Muneer
“The Cutman” faced the toughest test of his career when he faced former UFC fighter Masio Fullen on Brave CF-1. Muneer performed really well; he may have been knocked out in the very first round but he did manage to stun the Mexican for some time with his power.Now standing with a record of 6-2, with all 6 being finishes, Muneer has established himself as a fighter to look out for. His performance at Brave got him much appreciation and even brought huge attention to Indian MMA.
- Nelson Paes
Nelson is amongst one of the most popular Indian MMA fighters. After starting his career on a low note, with 2 losses, Paes is now riding a 3 fight win streak out of which 2 are nasty knockouts. He got India its first international win of 2016 as he took a unanimous verdict over Khudoum Al Kaabi on Desert Force 20-Dubai.
Paes now holds a record of 3-2 and is one of the brightest prospects in Indian MMA. He is popular, talented and dedicated all these factors will definitely attract the attention of Indian Masses towards the sport. If Nelson continues his hard work he, without a doubt, has a very bright future.
- Rajinder Singh Meena
Rajinder was one of the first Indian MMA fighters to get an international contract. The submission specialist didn’t have a great 2016 but he has improved. Just like Priyanka Jeet Toshi, Meena too showed a lot of improvement in his fighting style.
In his encounter against prospect Honorio Banario, Meena delivered a great performance before getting caught in a vicious armbar. Now Meena holds a record of 8-3, with 5 being submission wins. He is clearly improving and in near future might even be a competitor to feat
- Manjit Kolekar
Manjit is the most popular Indian MMA fighter. She became the first Indian woman to sign up a contract with Invicta FC. She made her debut against explosive Brazilian fighter Kaline Medeiros. Medeiros entered the fight as a healthy favourite; she had the experience, talent as well as the support to compete at a stage like Invicta FC. Manjit on the other didn’t have all the facilities and was even injured before the fight itself.Hence Manjit entered the fight as a huge underdog and wasn’t even expected to survive a single round much less the fight. But Kolekar proved everyone wrong as she didn’t only survive a single round but went on to take the fight to the judges. In some eyes, Manjit even won the last round. Her performance proved that she is a legit contender and is in Invicta to stay. She clearly has a bright future.