After the Road to UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) final win, India’s Anshul Jubli announced “Namaste UFC, India is here!”. And he is just days away from realising his dreams.
Jubli will take on the United States’ Mike Breeden on Saturday at UFC 294 in a lightweight early preliminary bout. The event will be headlined by the lightweight title fight between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The fighter, hailing from Uttarakhand, will come into this weekend’s fight in red-hot form as he is unbeaten in the professional Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) circuit with seven out of seven wins. “Not just professionally, I’ve not lost a single fight so far, seven professionally and close to 20 fights in the amateur circuit. So, Saturday’s fight will be my eighth professional victory if I manage to do that,” said Jubli in an interaction ahead of the event.
Breeden on the other hand, is 16 fights old with ten wins and six losses. Analysing purely on the recent form of both the fighters, this could be the perfect start to Jubli’s UFC career as the American is on a four-fight losing streak.
Jubli, through a string of impressive wins, rose through the ranks and attained stardom among Indians. Earlier this year, he registered a technical knockout win against Jeka Seraigh of Indonesia in the Road to UFC final and became only the second Indian, after Bharat Kandare, to earn a UFC contract.
“There’s no pressure, but there’s a responsibility on me because I’m representing my country and the Indian MMA fraternity on the whole, and I have to represent them in a good way,” Jubli said.
The 28-year-old has become someone that an aspiring MMA fighter will look up to, but he feels he ‘has not achieved enough to advise someone else’.
“Let me become rich first, and only then can I advise others,” starts Jubli with a chuckle. “ But I would say MMA is a great sport, which could give you so many things. Just don’t give up and be consistent. Don’t just work hard, but work smart as well. Now I’m a bit nervous because of the nature of the match this weekend, but I would suggest the upcoming fighters to not take it to the head.” he added.
Jubli will be poised to make an imposing first impression as a win on Saturday would make him the only Indian to win a bout in UFC.
Watch the LIVE coverage of Anshul Jubli’s debut bout against Mike Breeden at UFC 294: Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski on 21st October 2023 on Sports Ten 1, Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi) & Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels with the pre-show starting at 7:30 PM IST.
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