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#TFGinterview: Indian MMA star Swapnil Barve talks about his Upcoming fight with former UFC star Yao Zhikui

SWAPNIL BARVE will carry the expectations of a whole nation on his shoulders when he goes up against former UFC fighter Yao Zhikui at the CKF event in China. As the MMA fans in India has UFC as the benchmark for almost everything related to sport, the importance of Swapnil’s fight with Yao cannot be stressed enough.

Swapnil aims get a win at any cost

Yao might be coming into the fight on the back of a couple of defeats but he is someone who has proven his worth by winning in the UFC. The fight will indeed be a big step up for Swapnil and ahead of the showdown, we managed to catch up with the Indian MMA star. He talked about how the fight materialized, his training and much more. Below is what Swapnil had to say.

On how the fight materialized:

This fight was proposed by Mr. Nadeem Khan to me and my fellow mate Farhan Siddique, on behalf of CKF, followed by which our profiles were sent to CKF and we were selected for this event.

Nadeem helped me at every possible level.  My passport was reissued in tatkal due to some damage, that basically takes a long procedure. Fortunately, with the help of him, I was able to get through all the procedures in very less time. My Visa was also applied a day prior to the match, for which he made sure that I should get it without fail. From getting the fight to applying for Visa in very less time, he helped me without even charging me a single penny for his work. I thank him for all he’d done for me.

About his last fight and training:

My last fight was IND vs Bahrain, that took place in Bahrain in the month of January 2017. It was a very big opportunity but I was not at all happy with my performance. I took my loss as a stepping stone towards my ultimate goal instead and a reason to fight back this time.

After my loss in India vs Bahrain, I started working on my weaknesses. I started working on my strength and conditioning with Mr. Swapnil Jagtap and boxing techniques with Mr. Suraj Bahardur at Outraw Academy, Panvel. I also focused on improving my ground games with Mr. Micheal Periera at MMA Warriors, Thane.

On facing Yao:

I feel honored to have a chance to fight against such a strong fighter who’d fought in UFC in the past. Having such a strong opponent, boosted me and gave me the self-confidence to work harder and give my everything in this fight. I m really looking forward to winning this time, no matter what it costs.

I started focusing on my overall game. In today’s highly competitive world,  a fighter should always upgrade their knowledge and use it with their experience to compete in their fights. For this match, I have been working on my striking and ground games the most.

Message for the fans:

I thank all fans and supporters who have always stood by me; I promise, I won’t let you down this time. Just get ready to welcome me victoriously with our Indian Flag waving high and making my country proud.

Swapnil and his teammate Farhan will be in action at the upcoming CKF event on July 7.

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