Ali Ahmed from Team Shaheen gives a first hand account of his experience fighting MMA for the first time. If anyone else would like to submit their experience please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Last Sunday was pretty awesome as I got to have my first amateur MMA fight and it was like a dream come true for me. I had been training in MMA for around a month when Coach Bashir told me about PWC 1 (thats Pakistan Warrior Challenge) and I just flipped out and wanted to fight immediately. Till now training was mostly about technique and learning basic ground game but now since the fight was coming up we really upped the conditioning and cardio. It was push ups, squats and burpees (they suck at first but pay huge dividends in the long run) all day long along with sparring and thai pad practice after jumping rope as a warm up.
The last week before the fight was the worst. There was this weird drill which went for 30 second sets with 10 second rests in between and we had to do pushups and squats as quick as possible. The last week we also practiced specific things like ground control, striking, shrimping etc depending on who wanted to learn what. Since I have zero ground experience I was desperate to learn how to get back on my feet if I got taken down so my coach told me to practice my shrimping…alot. I was so nervous about getting mounted that I was “sleep-shrimping”. It was crazy but luckily I didn’t get mounted during the fight.
When it was finally the 28th I woke up at 6 and had breakfast along with Wanderlei Silva highlights to get me going, reached our gym at 8 and then we left for the venue in Model Town. I was really excited to fight and seeing all sorts of fighters from all kinds of styles and places arrive just made me feel happier as I saw the sport had so much potential here in Pakistan. The officials weighed the fighters and their credentials were written down and the fights finally started at 12 o clock. There were lots of good fights but I was too nervous about mine to enjoy them even though I was cornering for most people who were representing Team Shaheen.
My fight was the second last on the card and I felt a rush of adrenaline when my name was called out to get ready. Coach Bashir wrapped my hands and gave me some last minute tips and then the I was called to the ring. Even though it was like ten steps, it was the longest most nerve wrecking walk ever. We were briefed on the rules but I didn’t pay attention as millions of “what ifs” were running through my mind. We went to our corners and then it started…The other guy came hard with a low kick and then again. I noticed a pattern so the next time he kicked I checked it and countered with a combo which made him turn around, giving me his back. I grabbed him and attempted a throw but it didn’t work but we ended on the ground anyway, me on top in side control. After that it was just instinct and i started bashing away with my right with him holding on to my left. After a couple of seconds I guess he got annoyed by the pit pat of my short hammer fists and he turned but i cross faced him, making him turn away from me, giving me his back yet again. This time i capitalized on the opportunity and dug in a rear naked choke and he tapped. I got up and shook hands with my opponent and went to my corner to celebrate. It was the best feeling ever , I felt like I was on top of the world and all that anxiety got replaced with euphoria.
I’d like to thank my coach, Bashir Ahmed for training me and Pak MMA for spreading this sport in the country. Big up to the Pakistani MMA scene and everyone involved in it!”