Growing craze for Mixed Martial Arts in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The popularity of full-contact combat sport, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is certainly growing in the state. Utkal Karate School for the third consecutive time hosted an MMA fighting championship in which amateur fighters not only from Odisha but from other parts of the country participated in large numbers.

Eight Odia fighters competed in this championship with Satyabrata Beuria and Priyadarshini Ghatuari making the state proud by clinching medals. Satyabrata bagged Gold in the 56.7 Kg Fly weight category by defeating Rajat Kapoor of Chhatisgarh while Priyadarshini had to be satisfied with a silver after losing the final against Tanu Jha from Delhi.

“Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the world. Utkal Karate School is happy to organize such an event like MMA every year and we are getting fabulous response from the MMA lovers of Bhubaneswar,” said Hariprasad Pattanayak, Founder, Utkal Karate School.

This was the third amateur national fighting competition organized by the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA). Around 175 fighters from 17 states took part in this three-day competition. The fighters excelling in this event will be selected for the World MMA Championship to be played in Bahrain as well as for the Super Fight League that takes place every year in India.

“Utkal Karate School has been a wonderful host. MMA has become a big sport now in India with our association organizing more than 5000 amateur and 500 pro bouts all around the country,” said Shareef Bapu, National Working President of AIMMAA.

Fighters in Odisha are delighted to get such a platform every year to showcase their talent in-front of their own people. MMA enthusiasts are also interested and are coming in huge numbers to support the fighters in the MMA championship.

Speaking to odishatv.in, music composer and MMA lover Laxmikant Palit said, “MMA has grown like anything in Odisha. I am a big fan of the sport and it is really wonderful to see the support from the people and performance of the fighters here. I am hopeful that fighters from Odisha will go on to bring laurels for the state.”

With MMA fighting championships being held every year in Bhubaneswar, the craze for the sport has certainly grown. After two years of Yoddha Fighting Championships (YFC), the AIMMAA Amateur Nationals is the latest addition to the sport in the capital city.