“It’s not an easy sport. It’s not boxing, it’s not kickboxing, it’s not karate, it’s not wrestling. It’s much more different, it’s much more difficult”, said Ehtisham Karim in a video over Facebook that has since been viewed 20,000 times. The video was in response to the media’s lukewarm coverage of a Pakistani fighter that has earned national and international recognition.
Ahmed ‘Wolverine’ Mujtaba is a featherweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Quetta.
Not only was he competing in Asia’s biggest and second largest globally ranked MMA promotion, “One Fighting Championship” but he also put on a stellar performance in his debut match.
Fighting in the cage against Singaporean pro-wrestler Benedict Ang, Ahmed became victorious via unanimous decision. Ahmed’s opponent had 3 prior wins to his credit, this being the first loss in his amateur and pro MMA career.
Ahmed has remained undefeated in all of his fights till date.
Affiliated with Team Fight Fortress, the only Pakistani MMA fighter with an unblemished record of eight straight wins and no losses , Ahmed is a force to be reckoned with. He is the UGBMMA Featherweight champion and WSOF-GC featherweight champion.
Talking to MangoBaaz about his phenomenal fight, Mujtaba says, “I actually boxed a lot in this particular fight. Packed in some take-downs as my opponent was a wrestler and yet, I took him to the ground. Went full-force with some powerful kicks and body shots – I also tried for a Rear Naked Choke (RNC) but by that time, the fight was over.”
A student of Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Ahmed juggles MMA training and competing along with his studies. With six years worth of training under his belt (pun intended), he isn’t short of the X-Men character “Wolverine” he has so fondly been nicknamed after.
Mujtaba wants to be a beacon of hope for young aspiring MMA fighters, asking them to perservere regardless of the personal and professional hurdles.
“Believe in yourself, be strong, be confident and never lose hope, no matter what”
When asked about his future plans, Mujtaba mentioned fighting in ONEFC for 6 fights and then, aiming for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest and most prestigious MMA promotion in the World.
Ahmed’s win aside, does MMA have a future in Pakistan?
We reached out to Ehtisham Karim, Ahmed Mujtaba’s coach and long-time friend also one of the dedicated trainers at Islamabad based The Fight Fortress (TFF). TFF is a professional combat sports and fitness team of educated, hard working, talented and passionate young Mixed Martial Artists, affiliated with Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan. A family initiative of MMA fighter Uloomi Karim who has recently defeated Yadwinder Singh World Series of Fighting Global Championship bouts in Manila, Philippines, TFF has already proven their mettle in training world class fighters. In his video, Ehtisham mentions the need to appreciate and own our mixed martial arts fighters that represent Pakistan in championships world over.
“He has much better offers awaiting him in other countries”, Ehtisham stresses upon.
Shedding light on the kind of tough training schedule fighters have to adhere to in order to make it to a championship of such stature. It takes months of training and practice to master the skills and strategies that the championship requires.
On top of banking on the Government to extend support and the media to highlight accomplishments, it is a duty of every Pakistani citizen to appreciate and treasure national heroes like Mujtaba to ensure others like him in the future.
Watch Ahmed ‘Wolverine’ Mujtaba’s full fight here: