MMA in Hyderabad
'Afghan Lion' Abdul Aziz Badakhshi being cheered his support team after winning the main bout on Friday night. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Kolkata: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is certainly gaining in footprint in India - if the response to the Matrix Fight Night at the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad on Friday night is any indication. After three editions in the UAE, the event sanctioned by All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) and Global Authority for Mixed Martial Arts Federations (GAMMAF) proved a hit with ‘Afghan Lion’ Abdul Aziz Badakhshi winning the main event.

“I am very happy about the win. At least with this win, I brought some happiness to the people back in my country who have faced great hardships. I am thankful to everyone who has supported me in my journey. I miss my parents a lot, thank you mother and father,” an emotional Abdul said after his win.

With Afghanistan fans packing the stands, there was an almost home crowd feel for the Afghanistan fighter as he stopped Brazil’s Marcelo Guarilha in the Featherweight category.

MMA in Hyderabad
'The Cobra Queen’ Jojo Rajkumari (right) defeated Ishika Thithe in women's straw weight category. Image Credit: Supplied photo

The first round saw Abdul going for heavy punches, which Marcelo tackled with grappling and submission attempts. Both fighters started quick movements in the second round as Marcelo tried to go for a sudden takedown but missed and Abdul landed in a few punches. Abdul used his raw power to slam Marcelo on the ground and then ended the fight with heavy blows, winning the bout via TKO in the 2nd round.

In the co-main event, the decider in the trilogy between Sumit Khade and Dhruv Chaudhary in the Lightweight category, the Uttar Pradesh fighter took control from the get-go. Dhruv took down Sumit and started pounding him with non-stop punches and elbow strikes, leaving no choice for the referee to end the fight. Chaudhary was declared the winner via TKO as he clinched the bout in just 3 minutes 50 seconds.

In other fights on the main card, Angad Bisht defeated Chungreng Koreng via an anonymous decision from the judges after a cagey fight. Bihar’s only professional mixed-martial-arts athlete Shyamanand demolished his Uttarakhand opponent Abhishek Negi, leaving him bruised and bloodied to pick a win via TKO in the Featherweight category.

‘The Cobra Queen’ Jojo Rajkumari left the crowd stunned after she defeated her Strawweight category opponent Ishika Thithe via submission with an armbar in just one minute 37 seconds of the first round. Coorg fighter Clinton D’ Cruz went past his Bantamweight category opponent Sahil Rana with an impressive win via judges’ verdict.