Fight Professor sat down with Pakistani Mixed Martial Arts pioneer, US Army Veteran and One Championship signed fighter to talk about his life and what has shaped him to the person he is today.
Q- Tell me a bit about yourself and your upbringing, and how it has affected you as a martial artist
I had a normal upbringing….I think. But the basics are that I was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States when I was young. When I was in elementary school, there were not many Muslims or Pakistani’s at the time so it wasn’t like it is now where things are much more multi-cultural. When I was 11 years old I moved to Malaysia where I lived for 4 years. That experience shaped me a lot, I went to an international school and so I was exposed to a lot of different people. These things shaped much of my outlook towards the world. I don’t know if any of this shaped me as a martial artist because I started so late.
The biggest thing that did affect me as a martial artist came in young adult hood and that was my deployment to Iraq. I was pissed off at the system, I was pissed off at being in a war that was started on lies (there were no weapons of mass destruction) but at the same time I embraced the soldiers way of life and martial arts caught me at that time.
Q- How did you get the opportunity to compete at One Championship?
I got the opportunity to compete in ONE by having made a name for himself promoting MMA in Pakistan. ONE is trying to bring the continent of Asia together in one sporting league and they want the top guys from each country and I was there and ready to take the opportunity.
Q- Where do you see your career going from here, as a 3-3 professionally in Mixed Martial Arts and father of a newly born child
I had my first professional fight about 3 years ago, so I am still new to competing in MMA relatively. So, I know that there is still a lot of room for growth and I am happy with that. A lot of people are retiring at age 30 because they started in their 20’s and I am lucky in that I started at age 30 so I hope and plan to fight until about 40. Not many people my age get to compete at such a high level of sports at such an age and this is sort of my fountain of youth. Had I started competing at 20, I could be 30 something right now with an MMA career that was behind me and not much motivation to train and get better. Regarding my record, I don’t think too much about it. I’m already in one of the biggest promotions in the world and despite having a bit of bad luck my past two fights I know I am getting better and that’s all that matters. I’m not in a position where a bad fight or two would mean the possibility of me being stuck in the lower leagues with a hard road to move up.
So, as I said before, I will keep training, keep getting better, do the best that I can in my fights, fight better guys, build my “brand” and just have fun with this whole experience.
Having a son has just made it better. I’ll be winding down from my career right as he enters the age to begin training himself and being able to come to my fights. So I consider myself very lucky at times.
Q- Where do you see Pakistani MMA going from here?
. Pakistani MMA is just going to continue to grow. We have a growing group of dedicated fans and fighters and they are going to carry this sport forward. Every year a few hardcore supporters join the movement and they spend a lot of time and effort growing the community. We are steadily having bigger events, with better fighters and more people showing up to watch for the entertainment of it.
Q- What do you think about competing in a promotion like Onefc and what your plans after retiring from professional MMA.
Like I said in the 3rd question. I am lucky to be able to compete in a promotion like ONE right from the get go. They have helped give me a lot of media coverage and opened up a lot of opportunities for me.
I don’t think about what I will do when I retire because for me it’s not going to be a black and white transition. I am already more than only a fighter, alongside competing I am running a gym and helping put on shows. For some people when they are done fighting they have to sit down and say…”now what?” I won’t have that problem.
Q- Tell us one thing about Bashir Ahmad that the mma community doesn’t know
I get teary eyed very easily.
A big thank you to Bashir Ahmad for sparing some time to talk to us. For more Fight Professor articles, do check out Powcast.net and the Facebook page for more updates on predictions, breakdowns, Interviews and techniques.
Written for Powcast Exclusively by:
Fight Professor Faizan Fayaz