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#TFGinterview: Will fight to make India proud – In conversation with Pawan Maan Singh

Indian Mixed Martial Artist Pawan Maan Singh will step in for his first International MMA bout at the pilot Brave Combat Federation event in Brazil.Pawan Maan Singh is one pioneer in the Indian Mixed Martial Arts industry. He made his name in the national MMA circuit for his explosive knockout power.

All set to make India proud

Born in a small village in Haryana, his journey from the national boxing circuit to Brave Combat Federation had been a tough journey. Pawan is the first Indian athlete to represent the nation in a MMA event in Brazil.

Pawan emerged as a trend setter by becoming the first Indian athlete to claim championship titles in two different weight classes. Till date he is the only Indian to hold championships in multiple weight classes in the Super Fight League. The former Super Fight League welterweight and lightweight champion has also been actively involved in professional boxing while being active in MMA.

 The Delhi based fighter who is a father of two is confident that he will go toe-toe against his opponent, James Pou, from the United States of America. Pou has three wins in three fights, with a knockout, a submission and by decision. In the interview after clearing the weigh-ins at Curitiba, Pawan opened up in an exclusive interview courtesy of Hari Bhagirath from KHK MMA Bahrain.

TFG: You qualified selection trials in the final phase, overcoming a seemingly impossible selection process. What inspired you to strive so hard to get selected?

PM: I had no choice but to get qualified. This is my dream and the only way to make things better for my family. I have two children to take care off. Only thing I know to do best is to fight. That is what I am - a fighter. Missing the selection was not an option for me at all.

TFG: How important was the support from family and friends?

PM: My family and friends had been an inspiration throughout my career. In the initial stages MMA was a personal journey with lack of finance, facilities where encouragement from family and friends were the only thing that kept me going. Now even these interviews are helping a lot. The growth of MMA based media in India have influenced the rapid growth that we see now.

TFG: James Pou has never faced defeat in his career. Does that bother you?

PM: Fight is beyond statistics. He must be bothered because he has never felt how it feels to lose. Once my right connects there will not be a streak. He must think twice before going to the ground. I am at my best shape in my career and my camp was the best so far.

TFG: What if you had not made it in Brave Combat Federation? What were your plans?

PM: Losing wasn’t an option. At this point of career this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I wanted to represent my skills and my nation on the global platform, this is the only way I know I can make my family and nation proud. I am also focusing on my greatest strength, my professional boxing experience to step in occasionally into the ring.

TFG: What do you think about the future of MMA in India?

PM: India has a bright future in not just MMA but all combat sports. Champions are rising in each sport. Media and people are paying attention. Also films that have strong message to support athletes are creating awareness like never before. In the end everything lies in the hands of Indians. It is my nation that gave me everything and will fight the best to make India proud.

TFG: Who is one person who inspires you in Sports?

PM: Vijender Singh had been amazing. He had brought Indian sports to global attention. Also he has caught my attention as I am active as a professional boxer.

I strive not to be like someone else. I want to leave my legacy for my children and future generations to be proud about. At the moment it is my dream alone, soon there will be generations coming up to be inspired from the struggles that I am going through.

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