Brave Combat Federation has announced that Abdul Muneer will return to the cage to face his rival, Gurdarshan Mangat.
Both athletes had been featured in The Fan Garage for 2016 Indian MMA fighter of the year, which was won by Abdul Muneer by a slight margin. Abdul Muneer faced former UFC fighter and Brave Combat Federation's contender for the featherweight title, Masio Fullen, which he lost due to a controversial stoppage.
The featherweight fighter from Calicut, Kerala was a former state boxing champion and was under intense training to make his much-anticipated return. After an extensive camp, the Cutman is in one of the best shape of his fighting career.
Abdul Muneer: I had an intense training schedule covering ground game as well as my stand-up skills. At times, it is better to reply in the cage and let the world know who the best Indian fighter is. I carry just one flag, that of India. I know it is frustrating for a budding athlete who was spoon fed opportunity after opportunity and had invested much on his publicity to receive mediocre response.
Muneer also emphasised on the fact that Indian athletes need not escape to another land to improve themselves.
Abdul Muneer: We Indians came the tough road, feet bleeding towards success, fought for every opportunity. I am from Calicut and fighting from Shivajinagar, Bangalore. I want to prove that I need not escape to another land to be a better athlete. We have talent in India and India is tougher than you can ever imagine. And our athletes are global icons in combat sports. The support of my friends and fans are overwhelming that we have already visualised my victory.
The Cutman spoke about the friendship that poked up between him and Masio Fullen after their showdown at Brave 1 and held nothing back when speaking about Gurdarshan.
Abdul Muneer: Defeat is a defeat, but Masio is a worthy opponent and became a good friend. It was a great learning experience and made me train harder. Gurdarshan asked for the wrong fight and he will understand it as the war rages. On April 23, I aim at nothing but domination and victory.
Gurdarshan had opted to compete at featherweight, which is two weight categories over his competing weight. Training in some of the most elite gyms in the world such as Tristar Gym, Revolution Fight Team/ 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu where he trained alongside some of the best athletes in the MMA industry such as Rory MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones.