Blood, Sweat & Victory
By Lavania Kris
April 8, 2013
At the age of 30, most men would be building their career. It’s very rare for someone of that age to be recognised as a pioneer of any cause.
However, that’s not the case for Bashir Ahmad. This Pakistan born American citizen is Pakistan’s pioneer in the mixed martial arts scene. It’s quiet something to be dubbed as the “Godfather” of MMA in your country of birth.
We had the golden opportunity to meet the professional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Muay Thai fighter (he is also a former military personnel!) recently when he was in Singapore for the One Fighting Championship’s Kings & Champions.
Here is a small portion from the interview session with the disciplined fighter as he geared up for the fight last Friday (Apr 5, 2013) and also some pictures from Friday’s fight!
Bashir Ahmad – 3 days before the fight
Lavania: First of all thank you for having this interview with us. We heard you have a degree in Political Science and even served as a US National Guards. So how did you choose to make the switch to Mixed Martial Arts?
Bashir: One of the reasons would be my experience as a soldier deployed in Iraq. After serving overseas and going back to the US to complete my degree I sat in classrooms talking about what’s going on around the world. Everyone would be like, “Oh we can place a troop here and maybe one more there..”. I am looking around and thinking to myself, none of them there knew what it was like was to see war in the face. I didn’t want to be a part of that. Though I did well for my degree, I decided not to pursue it. I was in an unsure phase of what I really wanted to do and slowly mixed martial arts evolved into my line of work. Guess I can’t really say I made the decision to do it.
The Cage Ring: Before all the blood, punches & Kicks!
Lavania: Would you say your experience in the Military influenced you to take up martial arts?
Bashir: Yea, Somewhat. But I wouldn’t say it completely influenced me. I must say it complimented my military background. I believe everything happens for a reason. I think this was the path i had to take to help me with my martial arts but i wouldn’t say that if i hadn’t gone into military i wouldn’t have taken up MMA.
Bashir before entering the cage ring!
Lavania: You are just 30-Years old. But you are already known as the Pioneer for MMA in Pakistan. How does it feel to have such heavy responsibilities on your shoulders?
Bashir: Nah, it isn’t that heavy! I tell people this all the time, I will take credit for being the pioneer for what’s been going on in Pakistan’s MMA scene, but at the end of the day this is the hard work of many people working together.
All i really did was to open the door...I lit the match but everything else was a collective work. If I hadn’t open the door then like maybe no one would have! I am not a one-man show
; there are a lot of people who work with me.
Lavania: We heard you were staying in a mosque in Singapore in preparation for the fight this weekend (Fri, Apr 5) and only checking in to the hotel today? How has that experience been so far?
Bashir: It was very good; really help me to focus for my fight. I was quite sad when i left the mosque to check into the hotel, was getting used to the routine of staying in the mosque, going to train and going back there.
Bashir facing off his opponent, Shannon Wiratchai from Thailand
Lavania: In an earlier interview, you referred to yourself as a “Warrior Monk”! Could you tell us more about it?
Bashir: That’s actually how i would like to see myself...an ideal that I aspire to be, like a Samurai or Warrior Monk. I guess being a soldier comes into that, having certain ethics and a standard of excellence that you would want to hold yourself to in all realms of your life; Physical, Mental & Spiritual. I like to view things in terms of balance. One side I am fighting, as a martial artist and the base of that has to do with war. Doing harm to another person. That’s however not the martial philosophy but we are learning techniques. We can’t ignore that it’s meant to attack another person, but at least you would know how to defend yourself in a fistful confrontation. In terms of spiritual, its gives you the ethics and moral compass to the skills that you have as a warrior.
Lavania: You are debuting with One FC this Friday. Tell us how you feel about it?
Bashir: It feels good! I was signed with One FC a little bit over a year ago. Since then i have been waiting, you know every day, every week, I have been preparing for this moment. I have never felt more ready for a fight ever. I am not nervous, i am very happy. As the fight gets closer i get a little anxious obviously, because there’s going to be many eyes watching me. I feel really good and I think it’s going to be a good fight, a good debut!
A day after the fight: The Face of Victory
(Photo courtesy of Facebook: Bashir Ahmad's Page)
Alright folks, this is just a small teaser of his interview with us. This super disciplined sportsman really amazed us at the fight on Friday. His determination to win for his country was so moving that many rooted for his victory. And victory it was for this warrior! Stay tuned to the extended video interview where he spoke about his opponent, Shannon Wiratchai and also shared some wise words to all those who are thinking of making MMA their profession!
*Photos of the fight courtesy of Shaun Mun