MMA India Exclusive: Surbala and Dinesh set out to make the country proud at the IMMAF-WMMAA World Amateur MMA Championships

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The IMMAF | WMMAA World Amateur MMA Championships is all set to take place from 10th November in Manama, Bahrain as part of BRAVE International Combat Week. The championship will end on November 16.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2019 Senior and Junior World Championship tournaments will take place at Khalifa Sports City and this mega event will be hosted by the Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation under the Bahrain Olympic Committee.

Dinesh Naorem with his coach Vishal Seigell

This time Team India will be sending an 11-fighter contingent to Bahrain and MMA India Show had the opportunity to spend time with Dinesh Naorem who will be fighting in the flyweight division and Surbala Devi Laishram who is fighting in the atom weight category and training in Bangalore at the KOI Combat Academy under the watchful eyes of head coach Vishal Seigell.


1.) Is this your first time participating in the world championship? How are you feeling?

Ans: I am feeling very good. I started training MMA in January and since then I have fought in two open national championships and have a total of seven fights under my belt and in both the national championships, I have won a gold medal. Now I have been selected for the world championship, I am very happy.

2.) What are your expectations for the upcoming championships? Are you aiming for a medal or are you going in to give your best?

Ans: I am new to the sport of MMA but I will try to win a gold medal. I am a grappler and I have seen videos of my competitor in the world amateur championship and I match up well against them, so I am confident about my chances.

3.) What is going to be your gameplan inside the cage and what message do you have for our readers?

Ans: My gameplan is to fight nonstop and to fight with forward-moving pressure and it doesn’t matter if the fight goes to ground or if it’s striking, I will fight with pressure. I am confident in my grappling and I am confident in my striking.

I hail from a small village in Manipur named Kakching and I am going to give the best performance for my country and bring laurels to my state, Manipur, and my gym KOI Combat academy.

Hopefully, all of you tune in to watch my fight.


1.) There are only a few days left till the world championships, how do you feel?

Ans: I am feeling very good and I am very much well prepared for this tournament. My heart and mind are fully ready for this championship in Bahrain. 

Surbala Devi Laishram and Vishal Seigell

2.) Have you had the chance to look at your opponent’s fighting techniques or are you one of those fighters who say’s ‘whatever comes my way I will take it’?

Ans: There are a total of eight fighters in my bracket and I have seen clips of most of the fighters and there are both strikers and grapplers in my bracket and I will perform accordingly. It doesn’t matter if my opponent is a grappler or a striker, I am trained for whatever they bring to the cage.

What are your expectations for the upcoming championships? Are you aiming for a medal or are you going in to give your best?

Ans: I am planning to perform the best I can for this tournament and make my gym, my country, my home state of Manipur proud and my village Khangabok proud. I will come back with a Gold and I am fully prepared for it. My coach and my seniors at KOI Combat Academy have fully supported me and helped me in my training, so I will come back with nothing less than a Gold.

All the fights from the world championships will be streamed live on IMMAF.TV.


India’s contingent at the World MMA Championships from 10th to 16th November



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