India’s Roshan Mainam has been on a tear in ONE Championship’s flyweight division, scoring three straight submission victories.
However, he’s about to face the toughest test of his mixed martial arts career at ONE: DANGAL, which airs this Saturday, 15 May.
The grappler is scheduled to face fellow Indian Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat in a catchweight bout to kick off the card.
“I never expected that I would ever fight with Gurdarshan Mangat. However, I am looking forward to the fight,” Mainam said.
“To be honest, I am a bit hesitant to go up against him. But my team and ONE Championship have put the responsibility on my shoulders, and I will do my best inside the Circle.”
The rising star did not make those comments because he doubts his skills. Instead, it’s because he and Mangat have been close friends for the past four years.
“We both were a part of Super Fight League in 2017, and I was really excited to meet him,” Mainam said.
“After that, we started to get to know each other very well. He is like an older brother to me. He has tremendous experience and he supports me a lot.”
Having said that, Mainam will put his adoration for Mangat aside this Saturday, as “Saint Lion” poses a serious threat to his future in ONE.
“Gurdarshan is a very good striker, and he has a lot more experience than me,” Mainam said.
“By the time I got into MMA, he already had tons of fight experience. So, I think his striking and experience are his biggest strengths.”
As for Mainam, he’ll stick to what he does best, which is take the battle to the ground and look for the finish from there.
“If I get an opportunity, then I would definitely go for the submission,” he said.
Whatever happens, Mainam won’t be taking it personally.
“We will be inside the Circle for 15 minutes, where we will be performing our professional duties,” he added. “I don’t think the result will affect our friendship in any way,.”
Catch all the action from ONE: DANGAL this Saturday, 15 May, on the ONE Super App, Hotstar, Star Sports Select 2, and Star Sports First at 3:30 p.m. India Standard Time (IST).