Owais Yaqoob is all set to make his Matrix Fight Night debut against Neeraj Panghal at Matrix Fight Night 11 which is set to take place at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on March 31, 2023.
Ahead of his fight, The MMA India Show had the opportunity to chat with Owais.
1) How did you get started into MMA?
“My name is Owais Yaqoob. I’m from Kashmir, Pulwama. I started my MMA journey at the end of 2017. First I played a lot of martial arts sports like thang ta , karate, kickboxing then I switched to MMA in 2017 end.”
2) How does it feel to be fighting in the biggest MMA promotion in the country?
“I’m very excited for this fight. I’ve been preparing for MFN since 2021. I noticed that the promotion is great and the fighters are getting such a massive platform. So, I started working out to get into the promotion. Then alongside my coach, Gurkaran Singh from Indian Top Team, worked on this. Then IMA nationals came around and it gave me hope that I can get selected for MFN.”
3) Your journey as a professional MMA fighter?
“Back in the day, it was tough because I had get entry, then look after the expenses for my training. There were a lot of factors. I was also making least of income. I had to look after my family, work and at the same time had to train. I competed in 19 amateur fights. I gathered experience in the amateur circuit. Now, in the professional circuit, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of opportunities to experience different aspects. I believe I’ll also enjoy being a professional fighter now.”
4) How has the training been going for the fight?
“From the day I got to know about the fight, I’ve been focusing more on my training. There used to be routine boxing training but with this fight in mind, I’m training, keeping the opponent in mind. I was in Bali, Indonesia for training for a couple of months and the training was great. I improved my striking abilities and currently I’m Chandigarh, training with my coach, Gurkaran Singh.”
5) What do you know about your opponent?
“I know that he is my ‘opponent.’ He must have been researched about me and my fighting style. The way he has planned, I’ll plan the counter-attacks accordingly.”
6) Your prediction for the fight?
“I was not confident with striking. Today, I’m comfortable with striking, wrestling, ground offense. So, the outcome could be anything. It could be knockout, I’m also confident with submission as well as ground and pound.”