Hailing from Delhi's highly respected Guru Hanuman Akhara, Manipur wrestler Roshan Mainam has won three bouts in a row in a Singapore championship, defeating more accomplished fighters from Cambodia, China and Indonesia.
Roshan defeated Indonesian Aziz Calim via a rear-naked choke at the ONE Championship, the popular Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA), promoting kickboxing and muay thai, according to Friday weekly Tabla! The 24-year old Indian has been on a mission to prove himself as a top-notch fighter in the star-filled ONE Championship flyweight (61.2 kg) since he was selected to train at Singapore's Evolve Gym in November 2018.
Roshan is basically a wrestler, having won amateur bouts in India. He switched to MMA to get out of poverty, said the report. Roshan now has a reported USD 48,000-a year contract with ONE Championship and wants to become a world champion in MMA.
"I knew MMA would be gruelling when I came to Singapore," he said. "But I am loving it here after fighting hard to get a place at Evolve. I have to learn boxing, kicking, striking and submissive wrestling, but I am not going to give up after coming so far." Roshan grew up in a poor family, the second among four children in Thoubal, a small town in Manipur.
As he grew up, Roshan wanted to be a boxer, like the six-time world champion Mary Kom of Manipur. He moved on from wrestling in the village to compete in the Guru Hanuman Akhara, which has produced top Indian wrestlers such as Satpal Singh and Rajiv Tomar.
After that, Roshan worked as a trainer in Bengaluru and then qualified for training at Evolve in Singapore out of nearly one thousand contenders. Roshan says he will give all he has. "All my life I've struggled and learnt from it," he said. "I've always had to fight for everything. I'll do it that way and become an MMA world champion."