UFC fighters to make presence felt in India
Retired WWE <g data-gr-id="52" style="color: #3b3b3b; font-size: 11px;">wrestler-turned</g> UFC pro CM Punk, who has a big fan base in India, is not only ready to make an impact in the MMA circuit but also wishes that the sport crosses borders in its popularity chart.
“I love Indians. It is possible that one day you will see UFC happen in India. It’s possible, you never know,” Punk, who is set to make his UFC debut this year in the middleweight category said here before the big interim featherweight title clash between Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes at the MGM Grand Arena this weekend.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is also confident of UFC making headway in the Indian market but said that the country will need its own fighter to identify with the sport.
“I think India has such a huge population of different individuals. And if you really follow, it has a martial arts background. If you trace back the Shaolin temples then Martial Arts originated in India. So actually it will be a cool full circle that we will find time to see us and go back there and fight. “It will actually be a phenomenal thing. I think breaking into the international arena is awesome,” said Mir.
“But right now we need more representatives from India to be doing rounds of UFC. We went to Macau and China and brought in fighters from China first to compete in fights. If we go to Japan we got to have fighters from Japan.” Punjab-born Satnam Singh <g data-gr-id="51">Bhamara</g>, recently became the first Indian basketballer to make the NBA draw after signing up with Dallas Mavericks and Mir feels that there is no reason why an MMA fighter from the populated country cannot make the big grade.
“So right now we need Indian fighters up to that level to competing successfully in the UFC,” Mir said.
Starting with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the modern MMA comprises different fight forms and disciplines including wrestling, kickboxing, Muay Thai, karate, judo, boxing and dirty boxing and Mir believes that the sport will not be hard to pick for an Indian viewer.
“It’s the next thing of combat sport. If you are a fan of boxing and a fan of wrestling then you see an easy transition because you can buy in the two in together.
“If you see the winning techniques of wrestling with the throws and the <g data-gr-id="36">take downs</g> with the winning techniques of boxing and <g data-gr-id="42">kickboxing ?</g> submissions and what not. I think the culture has a Martial Art background and they appreciate it.