Want to become first Pakistani UFC champion, says MMA fighter Mehmosh Raza


Pakistan’s emerging Mix Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Mehmosh ‘The Renegade” Raza on Sunday outclassed Ukraine’s Igor Gryckiv in the third round at the Rebel FC-7 Fight for Honour featherweight class in Shanghai

Mehmosh only took five minutes in the third round to bring Gryckiv down as the judges unanimously declared him the winner of the bout.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Mehmosh, who wants “to fight in the UFC and become the champion as no Pakistani has fought there yet”, shared his training regime, love for MMA, game plan against Ukranian fighter and future aspirations.

About his love for the sport and the reason he started training for MMA, the fighter shared that he first came across a local gym event where anyone could sign up and fight. It was not exactly very safe but he was intrigued by it as he had been watching old PRIDE and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights.

“So I signed up and took part. I was matched up against a person of my height and weight and I lost pretty badly as I had no experience, and this was by no means a properly sanctioned fight,” he recalled, adding it was there and then that he realised his love for MMA because he felt emotions unlike any he had felt before.

Mehmosh further said that the very next day he joined The Fight Fortress (TFF) MMA in Islamabad and then continued on to train at Ronin MMA in London under James Duncalf, which was 5 years ago.

“I truly feel MMA changed my life and has made me a better human being. It is a way of life. It teaches patience, willpower, work ethic and discipline amongst many other things. The training is the one thing I know will never leave me no matter what happens in life,” he added.

Talking about the preparation for the fight against Igor, Mehmosh told this scribe that he moved to China in order to train and dedicate his life to the dream. “I trained in Dragon Warrior, the best gym in China, under head coach Alex and supervision of Marcio Andrade, one of the best fighters to come out of Brazil,” Raza said, adding that it was a tough camp but after the rigorous training he was in a great shape.

Sharing his game plan against Igor, Raza said that he intended to keep the fight on the feet even though Igor was known for his good striking ability. “We were also aware that he is a champion in his country as well as a wrestling champ but, of course, things don’t always go according to plan,” Raza shared.

“He came on strong in the first round so we had to change the game plan mid-fight and decided to take him to the ground. This change of plan allowed me to land damage in the rest of the rounds and, God be praised, I was bestowed with a victory,” the fighter added.

Answering the question about what goes through his mind right before the fight, Mehmosh stated, “All fighters feel anxious, they would be lying if they said they didn’t but as you enter the cage”.

“For me personally, a switch turns and I just want to hear the bell ring so I can start the fight, and of course to inflict damage because if you don’t then your opponent will,  it is a great feeling to fight in front of many people on such a big stage,” he stated.

Raza thanked Rizwan Ali, his manager, his parents and all those who have supported him till now and the Alimghty for blessing him with good oppurtunities.