Indian MMA fighter Sumit Kumar has signed up with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for Road to UFC Season 2.
The Road to UFC, which returned after a seven-year hiatus last year, presents the top 32 Asian MMA prospects with a chance to bag a prestigious UFC contract across four divisions in a “win and advance” tournament.
Sumit will be the third Indian to feature in the Road to UFC after Anshul Jubli and Pawan Maan Singh participated in the previous edition. In February this year, Anshul defeated Indonesia’s Jeka Saragih to earn a historic lightweight contract.
Hailing from Ajroi village in Sasni, Uttar Pradesh, Sumit’s strong wrestling background earned him the opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs, USA in 2016. “After training in wrestling and meeting a lot of people, I understood there was a scope for Mixed Martial Arts as there are no Indians in UFC. I decided then that I wanted to become the first UFC champion representing India,” Sumit told Sportstar, having signed his Road to UFC contract on Wednesday.
Sumit honed his MMA skills at the famed Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento, California under UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber. Sumit is undefeated in four Pro MMA fights, holding an overall streak of 7-0 in the circuit since his debut in 2020. The 22-year-old Sumit also possesses a Blue Belt in Jiu-Jitsu and won the national championships held in Chennai in 2019.
“I received my contract last month, but I did not sign it until yesterday. I wanted to keep things quiet and focus on my training, and I will now travel to Thailand to work more on my striking,” Sumit said.
The opening round of the Road to UFC is scheduled to take place on May 27 in China, with Sumit slated to face South Korea’s Seung Guk Choi in the 57kg flyweight division. Guk Choi was part of the previous Road to UFC season where he had won two fights before losing the flyweight final to compatriot Park Hyun Sung. The 26-year-old Choi holds a 6-2-0 record in Pro MMA.
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