THE BABY FACED LOOK of Bharti Dhoundiyal is something that might force you to restrict her to the ‘girl next door’ category. But as they say, don’t let the exterior fool you. The 21-year-old is one of the fastest rising WMMA fighters in India and dreams of taking over the world one day.
Hailing from Delhi, Bharti’s journey into the MMA world started when she took up Taekwondo during a summer camp in school.
“There was a summer camp for Taekwondo in my school. So I joined it and I liked it very much but when I competed, the fighters were asking test for even the smallest injuries and I was a very aggressive fighter with the mentality of “marro ya maaro”. I started training in Wushu after that and while being in the Wushu scene, I got an offer to fight in an amateur fight and I started my MMA career there" Bharti told The Fan Garage's Renjith Ravindran
However, just like a majority of the Indian women out there, Bharti also had to fight for what she believed in.
“My Father is a boxer. He did boxing while he was young but he had to leave it due to his job. As I belonged to a sports family, it was not difficult for me to start sports. But when it came to the talk of MMA, my family opposed it saying that there are huge chances of getting injured in this one. But when I stood firm, my family also started supporting me completely. Just for the sake of my parents, I’m doing Graduation Correspondence. But I spend my whole day in the academy and if it’s like I missed something big if I don’t train. ”
With the support from her family in place, Bharti went on to make a mark in the Amateur MMA circuit. Despite a professional MMA record of 1-3 currently, Bharti is holding her hopes and fighting spirit high.
“I love fighting and I don’t fear anyone whether it’s a boy or a girl. Whenever a fight offer comes, I just accept it without asking many other questions. I’ve just been selected to SFL League and I’m going to be benefited from this. Today, no one might know me but when I fight in the league and score knockouts, the whole world will notice. The main aim is to get into UFC”
The way Bharti projects positivity from the depths of ignorance and negativity makes her stand out from the rest. Currently, one of the biggest problems that Bharti faces right now is this ‘Ignorance’ itself. MMA is still a niche sport in the country. The efforts to take MMA to the next level in India is slowly becoming visible, but Bharti has not yet reaped any benefits of the same as she still struggles to find sponsors
“It’s my third chance to visit out of India for International fights. I asked help to everyone but did not get any sponsors. Indian people don’t mind about any other sports apart from Cricket. Some people even don’t even know what MMA is. I wanted to go to Thailand to train in MMA but unfortunately, I’m not getting any sponsors,”
While fighting her own fight in the uphill battle, Bharti had a message for the girls that dream big and those ‘Awara Majnus’ that try to hit on them.
“Girls are never behind boys on anything. I just want everyone to know that. MMA is a great sport and apart from the name and fame, we can also teach those ‘Awara majnus’ a lesson. “
A fan of Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey and India’s own Manjit Kolekar, Bharti has set her goals ambitiously. And with the hard work and positive attitude that she projects, it would not be too long before Bharti gets the limelight that she fights for.
“I want to be the best MMA fighter out there. Fight for UFC, and win a championship there”