A few weeks ago, our correspondents at The Fight Nation did a spotlight on the growing MMA scene in Pakistan, especially with the inception of Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan and PAKMMA. While the scene is made up of some young and hungry fighters over there, no one can deny that MMA in Pakistan has flourished because of one man. That man of course, is the Godfather of Pakistani MMA, Mr. Bashir Ahmad.
Bashir, an American Pakistani, decided to take a leap of faith and headed back to Pakistan to start the MMA revolution over there. Bashir has never looked back since and has helped in the growth of MMA in one of the most unlikely countries in the world. Bashir himself is a fighter who is currently on the ONE FC roster. Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan is also part of the ONE FC Network.
We managed to pull Bashir away from his busy schedule and spoke to him on topics such as his start in martial arts, PAKMMA and what the future holds for him and for MMA Pakistan.
PMN: How did you get involved in MMA?
BA: I got into martial arts gradually. Basically I started learning about hand to hand combat and was really interested in knowing how to kill people with my bare hands LOL. From there I read about more traditional martial arts and then martial philosophy at which point something inside me told me that this was a lifelong path I had undertaken.
PMN: What is your current fight record?
BA: My Muay Thai is currently 5-3. I have an amateur MMA record of 2-0 and a professional MMA record of 1-0.
PMN: What made you leave the USA and head back to Pakistan to begin your MMA journey?
BA: I left the states because I was not ready to join the race. I did not think that money was worth living in suburbia or spending three hours of my day in a car going to a job that felt meaningless. It was also because I was really into the whole “promoting MMA in Pakistan” although at the time I had no idea where things would go.
PMN: What style of fighting is your favorite? Do you prefer striking or grappling?
BA: I prefer grappling, although to be honest, as a fight fan, I appreciate all aspects of the fight. I just think grappling is where a person has better longevity as a fighter. Getting hit in the head is not good! Honestly, that’s (sic) a really hard question to answer. Maybe the best answer is that I like to watch individual martial (sic) arts expressed in its most complete way. Like Anderson Silva’s striking or Damien Maia’s BJJ.
PMN: What is your plan for PAKMMA and for your own career?
BA: The (sic) plan for PAKMMA is to be patient and wait for sponsors to come in or some other form of financial support even if it’s just a matter of me making more money to where I can invest it in PAKMMA. PAKMMA has grown a lot in terms of recognition but now is the time for tangible expansion here in Pakistan. I would like to create a proper infrastructure with a feeder system where guys can fight on provincial levels and so on, until they reach Pak Fight Club whereupon they have a shot of fighting in the big promotions overseas.
My own career is going to work in synergy with PAKMMA. As I progress as a fighter in my career opportunities will open up allowing me to give more resources to PAKMMA.
I also plan (well it’s pretty much definite now) on going to Thailand for three months to train with the guys up at Team Quest Thailand in Chiang Mai. I look to fight where I can in the ONE FC Network once I am in the SEA region which is showing to be a hot bed of MMA. From there I will just keep getting more experience and keep getting better while I wait to step into the ONE FC cage. Obviously my biggest focus and long term goal is to get the ONE FC featherweight belt. I am blessed that ONE FC has seen my potential as a fighter and has signed me.
In terms of career goals there is only one right now and that is to focus all my training energies onto fighting for that belt. I know it won’t happen tomorrow and I know I am going to have to prove myself against some tough guys who want the same thing I do. However, I do believe in myself and I believe I can do it. I mean, if I can put Pakistani MMA on the map than this is definitely a goal I plan on achieving.
Check out this newest trailer for Bashir Ahmad and MMA Pakistan: