Despite being a niche sport, the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has grown rapidly on an international level with a legion of fans across the world. And since Asia has a rich history of martial art, one might see the appeal that MMA has in the continent. But in India, where cricketers are revered as gods, MMA still has a long way to go—although it is making slow progress. Organisations such as Full Contact Championship (FCC) are paving the way for this martial art in India with regularly hosted Fight Nights in Mumbai and Goa.
Based out of Mumbai and founded in 2007, FCC is the brainchild of Prashant Kumar, who has long been a practitioner of martial arts. With a black belt in taekwondo, training in kickboxing, muay thai, judo and wrestling, it came as no surprise when he told us he was a big fan of Bruce Lee as a child, who fed his fascination about all things related to martial arts. “I used to participate in Free Style Fighting in Mumbai in the early 90s (1990 to 1993). In 1994, I read about the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Champion] in Black Belt Magazine and that’s where the idea of launching an MMA network in India on a professional scale came about,” he told us. (Words: Sara Hussain)
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Gopal is not a full time photographer and does not aspire to be. “I left advertising and tried to be a photojournalist for a year in 2011. It left me unhappy and unsatisfied. I enjoy photography, but trying to make a career out of it, killed the joy for me,” he says. He now photographs for publications on and off and continues to work in advertising. (source: http://betterphotography.in)