UFC: Sumit, Rana follow Anshul Jubli's footsteps
After Anshul Jubli, Sumit Kumar and Rana Rudra Pratap Singh are vying for the prized UFC contract.
“Namaste UFC we've arrived, India is here,” a jubilant Anshul Jubli yelled as he won the Road To UFC finals in February this year. Fast forward three months another batch of talented fighters are ready to lift India's MMA reputation and follow Jubli's footsteps. Sumit Kumar and Rana Rudra Pratap Singh are now vying for the prized UFC contract and will be seen in the second edition of Road To UFC, with their first fight lined up against South Korean Seung Guk Choi and Chang Ho Lee respectively. A win here will take them through to the next round, the schedule for which is yet to be announced.
Sumit, who fights in the flyweight division, is up against Seung Guk Choi, who already comes with UFC experience. He was one of the finalist in the previous edition but failed to bag the UFC contract after enduring a defeat against another his countryman Hyun Sung Park.
However, this doesn't affect Sumit, who considers the challenge as just another fight mainly because of his opponent's record. “He has won most of his fights via decision, and his knocks are not very good. So I consider the fight as normal,” said Sumit at a virtual press conference organised by Sony Sports ahead of his fight in Shanghai, China, which is scheduled for Saturday.
In fact Sumit wants to keep it simple, and assures his fans to not allow the fight to be decided via decision, knowing it places Seung in an advantageous position. “I'll most focus on my striking power as I've massively improved there but if he manages to evade, I'll switch to takedown.”
Sumit, who considers his mother and grandfather as his biggest motivators, is also thankful to the tournament for lifting the MMA scene in the country.
“Ever since the introduction of Road to UFC in India or Asia fighters have an opportunity, a way to reach UFC. It has motivated the MMA community in India to train harder.”
Rana Rudra Pratap Singh, on the other hand, is more experienced than Sumit and will be seen in the Bantamweight division. He boasts of a 11-1 record and like Sumit claims not to be under any pressure.
“I know UFC is a big platform but I've represented India in multiple fights in several countries and I don't feel any kind of pressure," noted Rana, who will step inside the Octagon a day later.
Such is his calibre that Anshul, who is currently the only Indian with a UFC contract, regards Rana as the fighter to watch out for.