Asian MMA

Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat Roars to Fight for the Indian Dream

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Gurdarshan Mangat is one of premium talent of Indian origin in the Brave Combat Federation roaster. Among the 9 Indian athletes present in the promotions roaster, Gurdarshan stands out with the best professional career record with 9 wins and a single loss. Training in some of the most elite gyms in the world such as Tristar Gym, Revolution Fight Team/ 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu where he trained alongside some of the best athletes in the MMA industry such as Rory MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones.
After graduating High School he moved to the city of Vancouver, this was when he was exposed to the world of MMA despite knowing that for his size and strength he would clearly be an underdog. He focused to begin his new career as a Mixed Marital Artist. His main inspiration was the same as it remains today, to do something out of the box and inspire any individual that witnesses his personal journey. Gary continued to win Tournaments and began fighting in the United States, where he made a name for himself all the way to India and the United Kingdom. Gary quickly climbed the ranks as he made an impressive 7-2-0 Amateur Record and equally formidable professional records of 9 wins and a loss. Gurdarshan moved up to Montreal to join Tristar gym which is home UFC champion Georges St Pierre and many others. He was coached by Firas Zahabi.
As a Sikh representing Indian culture and Sikh heritage, he hopes to take the sport of MMA across the world and be the first fighter of Sikh origin to win the Brave Combat Federation championship. In Gary’s words, “The person may not be the most intimidating person to look at, but the spirit that animates him is what matters. It’s the fire, the driven desire to succeed and to accomplish something which people will inspire themselves with, is the essence that a Saint Lion upholds.”
Gurdarshan Mangat is currently signed to Bahrain based global MMA promotion, Brave Combat Federation as one of the key talents representing India. He is also involved in multiple media projects that relates to Mixed Martial Arts industry and entertainment and lifestyle media. Following are the extracts from Gurdarshan “Gary” Mangat’s interview with Hari Bhagirath from KHK MMA.
How do you react to the latest projects of Brave Combat Federation especially in India and the level of investments involved?
I am extremely excited about it, from an economic and developmental point this matters a lot. I believe some of the best warriors in the world are Indian but they need a proper global platform to showcase their potential. Brave Combat Federation is evolving rapidly and they understand the regional Indian Market and the potential it holds. Instead of taking from the economy Brave is adding value and generating revenue by enriching the sport and economy of the domestic market and it is an impressive business model. India has one of the biggest human capital in the world, its time the world woke up to the potential of rising MMA in India.
Can you elaborate the growth of Indian MMA from your perspective?
Indian MMA is beyond what the industry had comprehended at the moment. Beyond the nationality of being Indian, we must look into the commonality in culture, heritage and principle of warriors that have enabled Indian athletes to make their presence felt in the industry. Indians having such a deep warrior history, find it easy to cover a steep learning curve and make their mark. Most of the initial forms of the martial arts originated in our backyard. With global promotions turning their attention towards India the coming years will be big for the nation.
How can these developments affect Indian athletes and how can they benefit?
Indian athletes will be benefited from associating with an organization that believes in talent development, transparency and ethics.These are the key factors required for any sport to grow exponentially. Brave Combat Federation can finally give Indian fighters the ultimate global platform to showcase themselves not only to the people they represent but also the rest of the world.
Who is one Indian athlete who had influenced you the most in the sport?
Honestly, there isn’t really any. And that’s something I want to change. I may be wrong but honestly I don’t think that we have enough monumental Indian athletes who have made a strong influence. That’s what I want to change and I want to become that for Indians. I want to send the message that I overcame odds from quitting a secure life being an accountant to pursue my passion for mixed martial arts to take control of my life and dreams. It changed my life, my thought process, my motives, my motivation to represent the warrior DNA in me. It was a challenge to test my conscience in front of the world. I survived the test and am living my dream. I want to share my struggles with the people so that they can relate to them and break social barriers so that they can follow their dreams through sheer will power and earn their dreams through right action. I know that I am the best Indian Fighter but there are other Indian Fighters who think otherwise, and the beauty of MMA is that all questions will be answered in the cage.
Whom do you think have got the talent among the upcoming Indian fighters?
Think there is a few out there such as Abdul Muneer, Chaityana Gavali and definitely few others.
Among the Indian roaster whom do you think have the ability to become the first Championship winner from India? 
I believe I am the #1 Indian fighter out there, if there is any of them that want to prove different there’s always a place to resolve it. I will do my best to uphold the dreams and pride of a billion people and am the championship material. Indians deserve to know who is the best out there and who should be one carrying the Indian flag around the world and who should be suited up to show the class and quality. This fight game is a business, and I fully understand that.  
When will you be returning to the cage? 
I hope to be back by April, 2017. I cannot reveal more details.
Would you like to share something really exciting that is happening in your life with your fans? 
I am getting married this summer but before that I hope to come to India to fight and take care of much needed business in the cage, I have also launched my youtube channel and vlogs which will be aired weekly on, so follow on there and also my social media –instagram/twitter/snapchat — @saintlion. I will also be launching my line of suits thru my suit sponsor @wearmodello , so any of the custom tailored suits you see me wearing, that’s where I get them from.

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Jeremy Brand started up this lovechild called back in 2009. It began as a hobby project and has turned into much more. In his spare time, you can find Jeremy on the mats, as he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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