Indian MMA fighter Rana Rudra Pratap Singh has been roped in by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to feature in the Road to UFC Season 2 tournament, scheduled to begin on May 27-28 in Shanghai, China.
In its first season after a seven-year hiatus last year, the Road to UFC presented 32 Asian fighters the opportunity to bag UFC contracts across four divisions: featherweight, lightweight, flyweight and bantamweight.
Rana will become the second Indian to seal a spot in the upcoming edition of UFC’s promotion for young MMA prospects after his Uttar Pradesh statemate Sumit Kumar.
Rana has developed his MMA skills at the Yogya MMA Gym under the guidance of coach Partho Ghosh in Lucknow. He made his pro-MMA debut in 2018 and has built an 11-1 record while predominantly competing in Indian promotions.
Rana’s first international fight card appeared in the ONE Warrior Series 10 in Singapore in February 2020. The 26-year-old won the fight with a round one guillotine choke over South Korea’s Seung Hyun Cho to lift his record to 10-0. His only defeat came in the BRAVE CF 47 event in Bahrain last year - a TKO loss to Azerbaijan fighter Ali Guliev. Rana returned to winning ways during his last appearance in Madhya Pradesh in 2022.
While Rana has fought across three weight divisions - bantamweight, lightweight and featherweight - in his previous fights, it is understood that he will be competing in the bantamweight bracket of the tournament.
According to his coach, Ghosh, Rana has yet to complete the paperwork for the first round of the tournament. “Yes, we received the offer this week. But some formalities need to be done before we start our formal preparations,” Ghosh told Sportstar.
Rana will face South Korean fighter Chang Ho Lee in the first round. The 28-year old Lee holds a 7-1 record and is currently ranked 13th among South Korean pro bantamweight fighters.
Rana and Sumit will aim to emulate compatriot Anshul Jubli, who earned a UFC contract in February after winning the previous Road to UFC lightweight edition in Las Vegas.
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