Despite all the negativity surrounding MMA in India, there are fighters who are making waves in the sport. One such fighter is Manjit Kolekar, who won the SFL Contenders and went on to fight in the world-renowned Invicta Fighting Championship.
Another rising star is Gurdarshan Mangat, who has a huge following and is a big threat to any opponent. He trains at the Tristar gym which has produced some of the biggest names in MMA.
1. Dhruv Chaudhary
One of the most versatile fighters in Indian MMA, Chaudhary mixes a wrestling base with crafty striking. He’s a strong finisher, having ended six of his seven wins in exciting fashion. He’s currently signed to Brave Combat Federation and made his name on the fight card in their first event.
Bhullar’s father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, is a legendary wrestler in India and she follows in his footsteps with her impressive MMA career. She’s fighting out of Canada, but still goes back to her home village in Punjab for family events. She’s a solid contender in her division. She has a good chance of making it to the UFC soon.
2. Chaitanya Gavali
Govind Ale is another fighter that came through the ranks thanks to Super Fight League. The flyweight made his professional debut last year and has already amassed a 5-1 record.
Angad Khandare is an interesting fighter to keep an eye on. He is relatively new to the sport but he has made a strong impression. He is a strong fighter that has impressive knockout power.
Chaitanya Gavali is a fighter from Mumbai that has competed in several international MMA promotions. He trains at Evolution MMA in Mumbai under coach Jitendra ‘Vicky’ Khare. Chaitanya’s main aim is to make MMA popular in India. He has done a lot of work to achieve this.
3. Mohammed Farhad
MMA is growing at a rapid pace in India and there are many fighters who have made waves as pioneers or modern stars. They have helped to increase the popularity of the sport by inspiring, empowering and training beginners.
Farhad is a force to be reckoned with in the ring and has some impressive finishes. He’s one of the top MMA fighters in India, fighting for Brave Combat Federation.
The Commonwealth Gold Medallist belongs to a famous family and has adapted well to MMA. She is a fan favourite and has a bright future in the sport. Her skills have earned her a lot of fans and she is an inspiration for other women.
Priyanka Jeet Toshi is one of India’s first women to take up MMA professionally. The Delhi fighter is adamant about her decision to fight, even as she grapples with the dogmas that still persist in Indian society.
Toshi made her debut with ONE FC in 2012. In her fight against Singaporean Nicole Chua, she lost via a first-round rear-naked choke.
Toshi is a member of Superhuman MMA, which started as a gym in 2011 with the goal of promoting MMA as a form of fitness. It is the same team that has helped fighters like Muneer and Mohd Farhad rise up the ranks. Their efforts have helped increase the popularity of MMA in India.
5. Jason Ramesh Solomon
The flyweight fighter from Uttarakhand is a former winner of the Super Fight League and has 4 wins to his name. He has a knack for making things interesting in the fight with his style of fighting that involves using submissions like hyperextending a joint or choking.
He has been a consistent performer in the Brave Combat Federation and is on the rise. He has a lot of potential and he could become a great fighter in the future.
Mainam is one of the hottest young Indian flyweight prospects. The Indian wrestling champion has brilliantly applied his grappling prowess to MMA. The 24-year-old has built a bona fide striking arsenal and is a threat to any opponent he faces inside the ONE Championship circle.
Originally from Billi Bhullar village in Punjab, Mainam moved to Canada as a teenager. He made a name for himself in the amateur circuit before deciding to turn professional in his 20s.
He fought twice in the Super Fight League and is a force to be reckoned with at Flyweight. The Indian is also a coach at the famed Evolve gym in Singapore.
MMA is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. While it is similar to boxing in terms of hard-hitting excitement, it differs by offering multiple ways to win, including submissions and knockouts.
Priyanka Jeet Toshi is another MMA fighter from India who is making waves with her performances. She came up through the reality show, SFL Contenders, and has fought for ONE Championship on a regular basis.
She is a flyweight who combines beauty and brawn into a 52.2-kilogram package. She has a huge fan base, and her impressive knockout power makes her a top contender in the division. She has a win-loss record of 8-1. She also trains beginners.
Despite having an impressive resume, Muneer is still in the early stages of his career. But he has the potential to become one of the best Indian fighters in the future. He recently competed for Brave in their inaugural fight night and rattled Masio Fullen with a first-round TKO.
He’s also the winner of SFL Contenders and has a lot of potential to continue progressing. He possesses great boxing and wrestling skills but needs to improve his transitions in live fight scenarios. He could use his boxing to create space for a takedown in MMA. His training is with the renowned Crosstrain Fight Club in Delhi.