Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 25:
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) aka Cage fight will soon make its debut in Odisha in a grand way with 75 participants from across the country fighting for the pole positions.
The matches sponsored by ‘Association for Combat Sports India’ are being organized here by ‘Utkal Karate School’. While the contestants will arrive here on July 3, the freestyle fight will be held in the Utkal Karate School campus on July 4 and 5 based on the weight classes. The matches will go on from morning 7 AM till 9 PM.
Among the contestants, there would be two from the state; Sachin Mahanta from Barbil based Pankaj Fighting Club and Biswadev Patnaik of Utkal Karate School.
“The fights between inexperienced fighters will be limited to three minutes and three phases whereas experienced and professional fighters would go for three rounds of five-minute matches. The cage for the fight would be 20 feet in length and breadth and hexagonal in shape. We would engage 15 referees to decide the outcome of the matches,” said Secretary of Utkal Karate School Hari Patnaik.
The competition has been named ‘Yoddha Fighting Championship’. Apart from Odisha, the preliminary round matches will also be held in Nagaland, Mumbai and Bangalore. The winners of the knock-out series will meet for the final leg of the Championship in Mumbai.
“We are bringing ‘Yoddha Fighting Championship’ to Odisha for two reasons. First, we would be able to find the most competent fighter as MMA integrates elements from all martial arts. Secondly, it will encourage martial arts in the state, which is important given it is the best way to defend oneself,” said one of the organisers while speaking to the press yesterday.
While MMA has already earned popularity all over the world, it is getting a lot of attention in India after actor Sajnay Dutt introduced it along with Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra.
It may be noted that MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts such as Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Karate, Muay-Thai, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing etc.
Originally promoted as a competition with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with a few rules; however, later, fighters employed multiple martial arts into their style; this gave rise to the name MMA.