Professional player of mixed martial art (MMA) from Pakistan, Bashir Ahmad, has returned to his homeland after a two-year gap with a vision to promote the sport at the national and international levels.
Termed as the godfather of the sport in the country, he returned with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) legend Rich Franklin, who is also Vice President of One Championship, an Asian mixed martial art.
The duo will be picking and training local fighters, who will undergo further training to feature in an international competition, at the Shaheen Academy in Lahore. The academy was established by Ahmed in 2015.
Talking about his motivations behind the return to Pakistan, Ahmed said that he was looking for some of the top talent in the country in order to train them to compete internationally.
“We will also visit ONE Warrior Series this year, which will be hosting Pakistani athletes again next year after several of them competed in the competition back in 2019,” Ahmed added.
The godfather of the sport in Pakistan also remarked that the purpose of MMA Pakistan was to promote all martial art and combat sports in the country, with specific attention to MMA.
He said that the sport served an ethical purpose and distracted the youth from drugs and other social evils. Ahmed said he had been involved with mixed martial arts in Pakistan for more than ten years.
He introduced the sport in Pakistan back in 2007 through seminars and the the very first MMA fighting events. Furthermore, he laid the foundation of the MMA movement in the country before heading abroad.
Ahmed was the first person to represent Pakistan at an international MMA event, winning at ONE Championship, and has the most wins by a Pakistani in the championship history.