Building a strong Indian team is the priority in conversation with Shashi Sathe â€“ Part 2
- By Renjith Ravindran
- September 11, 2016
REAL CAGE PREDATOR founder Shashi Sathe aims to take Mixed Martial Arts to the next level in India. After a successful first event, Shashi is currently in the preparations for the second RCP Fight Night.
A former MMA fighter who has fought around the world, Shashi recently talked to The Fan Garage in an exclusive interview. He poured out his heart in the first part where he touched topics such as the importance of educating the fans and building careers of fighters.
In this second part of the interview, he talks about chances of Indian fighters on an international stage, the things that we could expect for RCP Fight Night 2, the story behind RCP 1 main event and much more. Here is what he had to say:
About the chance of Indian fighters on an International level
There are a lot of fighters out there that have the talent to make an international impact. But you see there is a lot more that goes into a good fighter than just a one-time victory. You see there is a lot of training, there is a lot of time investment, there are injuries, and there is rehabilitation of injuries.
All these need money as well. I want the fighters to be financially secure and love what they do so that they can take it forward as a career. Even if fighters are not training with me, I want to help them understand the mistakes that they are making. Only perfect practice helps a fighter. If you are not practicing perfectly and getting tips from someone who has fought at that level, it won’t work.
Once they get such good practice, three four-fight nights and big events later, they are ready for the big international stage. Otherwise, if they go abroad, they might win or lose, but it’s not right to throw in a soldier into war without giving them the tools.
We do have fighters that can make an impact, but they need good training, with good coaches who’ve had experienced. Not promoters, not people who see UFC on TV and think they can do it. There are many peoples who are fans and pseudo drop outs of different Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, & Muay Thai gyms. They see some videos online and they think they become coaches. We don’t need those people. We need people who’ve been in the ring.
Changes that we can expect from RCP Fight Night 2
The expectations for RCP Fight Night 2 are high. People want to see more skills and techniques in the second event and yes, a rematch between Manjit Kolekar and Bharti Dhoundiyal is something they want. The fight went through five rounds of three minutes and in the fifth round, Manjit won via Rear naked choke. Also, the fight between Suraj Bahadur and Vikas Dahiya was also an exciting one. The fans would want these two rematches. We will also make sure that the second fight night is more updated and creative.
Bringing in International fighters
The kind of International fighters that FCC or SFL brings in is mostly those fighters that have retired or are no longer fit. These are fighters that most fighting schools won’t even pick. They only get a rub in India because these guys are crowd pullers. These International fighters just have the name but are no longer fit.
Isn’t it shocking that fighters that don’t even have one round of fitness in them are given a chance at a high level? They are given priority because promotions want to earn money and make a blockbuster event. But at the same time, there are young fighters in India who had never gotten a chance.
If you want to promote the sport, you have to give a chance for the Indian fighters who are working hard and deserve such a stage.
Bringing foreign fighters to RCP will indeed make a difference, but before that, I should build a strong Indian team, which has a strong fan backing and good sponsorship. The Indian fighters should fight against each other and become stronger, build a career and then only we should bring foreign fighters.
I am stressing again, I am in it to help the fighters to make career and promote the sport. I also have fighters who had a criminal record, street fighters, I train them, promote them, but the reason I do that is I know here is a talent which these guy is using somewhere else where it is of no use.
I channel their energy put them into the fight. When they realize about the life of a fighter, how people react when they see a criminal or a street fighter fighting in the arena one on one without any weapon. And when people love to see them, meet them, follow them. That is when my mission will be completed. I’m making a street fighter to live a gentleman life just by giving him a platform of the sport.
What sets RCP apart from other promotions and Bringing in international fighters?
There have been a lot of promoters that has taken money from big sponsors in the name of selecting fighter for big agencies. They then hold small events and fighters or the people who work for the event are not paid. The first aim of such promoters is to make money; they would never put their own money in and then suffer the loss.
Now, I am a fighter and I am based in Nasik, I have my own training camps, I train students, I train so many poor students. And in RCP, fighter are not been picked by advertisements, funds they give or other different types of promotions from people. They were handled invitations personally by myself. So I am in touch with each one of them. And very importantly none of this was done with anyone else’s money but my own. I actually went in a loss in handling all these and paying up everyone else.
When you consider this you will realize that this means someone is trying to build something of a sport. The fly by night operators, for them, money is everything and for me, it is not.
The story behind the main event of RCP 1
RCP 1 was supposed to be main evented by Aswathi Ezhunnamannil and Manjit Kolekar. But Aswathi had to withdraw as she had a viral infection and got hospitalized. Bharti Dhoundiyal stepped in on short notice and it was a fight that excited everyone. Manjit remained undefeated with her win. Bharti is now improving her BJJ and wrestling skills to come back and have a stronger showing. There are chances of Aswathi’s return but I am not sure about this now. And even if we get her on the next card, she will be facing opponents of her style and of her experience. She was present during the Event and left by making a promise that she will come back fit and strong for the next fight night and will put up a good fight against whoever she fights.
The fighters that we could expect for RCP Fight Night 2
Bharti Dhoundiyal in the flyweight division, Vikas Dahiya in the featherweight division, Suraj Bahadur in the featherweight division, Arun Guliya in the welterweight division, Javed Mulla in the middleweight division.
I will also be using fighters from Nashik. Alfaan hashmi is one of them; he comes from a street fighting background and has vicious power. If he gets a proper support I believe he would be the future of India.