• Balikatan 14 MMA action explodes today

     Bobby Besuna of the Philippines (left) and Vishal Sharma of India.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Bobby Besuna of the Philippines (left) and Vishal Sharma of India. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The 14th edition of Balikatan mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament titled Heart of a Warrior will unfold at 5 p.m. today at the covered Basketball Court of the Marikina Sports
    Center, in Marikina City.

    Veteran fighter and trainer Henry Yap Kobayashi of Hybrid Yawyan, the organizer of the event, announced on Friday that the tournament’s venue was moved to the aforementioned instead of the Trevi Executive Village Events Hall in Barangay Concepcion Uno, Marikina City.

    The main event will be the match between Filipina fighter Christina Conrado of AJJ Gym and Indian Harpreet Kaur of Budo Kai Do MMA.

    The co-main event is also a battle of female fighters featuring Sahara Hamayon of Oman Muscat MMA Club and Teddy Marie Dela Cruz of Spartacus Fitness Gym.

    Several Indian fighters are seeing action in the event among them Vishal Sharma.

    Sharma, 21, who will fight Filipino Bobby Besuna said that besides practicing karate and taekwondo, he was also exposed to traditional Indian wrestling called kushti, “I use [kushti]for practice only in school.”

    The other Indian fighters, Manpreet Singh Insan, 23, will take on Filipino Jued Castillo while Gagandeep Sharma, 28, will take on Ehsan Mousaei of Ahvaz, Iran.

    Sharma said that they want to bag the gold medal to honor their country.

    “We want to win gold medal. We want to win for India’s name and I want Indians to be proud of us because fighting is not easy,” he said.

    The Indian fighters are under the tutelage of Ravinder Paul Sharma of Budo Kai Do Federation of India.


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