The landmark rivalry between Abdul Muneer and Gurdarshan Mangat is the talking point of Brave 5: Go For Glory. The war of words has ensured Mohammad Shahid, President of Brave Combat Federation to beef up security for the event in Mumbai considering the strong sentiments of the crowd. Meanwhile ‘Saint Lion’ is concluding his final phase of training to face the ‘Cutman’ Muneer in less than 2 weeks.
The MMA fighter who was victorious 9 times out his 10 appearances is confident that he will yet again prove that he is the best Indian athlete who has ever stepped into the cage. Gurdarshan has trained in some of the most elite gyms in the world such as Firas Zahabi’s Tristar Gym, Revolution Fight Team/ 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and so on. He had the opportunity to train alongside some of the best athletes in the MMA industry such as Rory MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre and many other top fighters. He opened up regarding the verbal war that had surrounded the announcement of the co-main event of the fifth edition of Brave Combat Federation.
“The discussion about who is the best Indian Mixed Martial Artist had been brewing for over an year. When an athlete trains he or she trains not to be the second best, but to be the best in the world. I dedicated my life towards my passion. He thinks I had the advantage, but I cannot describe the struggle I had been through to keep this dream alive. From being completely broke, no food, bills pilling up, being in a new city and every cheque bouncing from the sponsors, to the years of depression where I lost all touch with MMA. The only thing that kept me going was that I believed nobody could raise that India flag better than me. While most of the Indian athletes were complaining about situations in Indian sports and lack of facilities, I found means to overcome them and to raise the Indian flag high. I worked sixteen hour days plus trained 2-3 times a day just to keep this dream alive. I had made India proud more than any other Indian Mixed Martial Artist.” said Gary.
Gurdarshan will be moving two weight classes to compete with Abdul Muneer in Mumbai. He seemed least concerned about his opponent’s size and strength advantage. If you’ve seen Muneer’s shredded physique lately, you might take a minute and wonder!
“Abdul talks about him carrying one flag and that is of India, yet when he loses the first thing he got to blame is India and the circumstances. A man that is proud to represent what he represents never blames it when he fails. Anyone can wave a flag in their home country, it takes courage , heart, and love to wave your flag in a different country. While Abdul shaking hands of local politicians, I was on the other side of the world walking with the India/Canada flag proud with little to no support. I set the standard for all the Indian fighters, he may come bigger and stronger physically but once the cage door closes, rest is reality.”
Meanwhile Abdul Muneer is training alongside Team Relentless in Mumbai preparing for the co-main event against Mangat. The former state boxing champion is the first Indian fighter to face off a former UFC fighter. Abdul suffered loss via stoppage during the first edition of Brave Combat Federation making the bout against Gary a must win situation to resuscitate his career. Brave 5: Go for Glory is set to take place at the Dome stadium of The National Sports Club of India, in Mumbai, on April 23rd.