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Karachi Chiawala Bakhat Muhammad wins international MMA fight in Iran

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Bakhat Muhammad, a tea vendor from Soldier Bazar in Karachi, has risen to international acclaim as he secured victory at the Fight Night event in Tehran.

Muhammad, who acquired his MMA skills at the Proficient Academy in Karachi in 2019, ventured into international competitions. His journey began in Khost, Afghanistan, in August 2021, where he defeated his first international opponent, Ibrahim Muhammadi (65 kg), at the Khatri Fight Night (KFN) organized by the Afghan government.

Continuing his winning streak, Muhammad triumphed in the Asian Fight Night in Peshawar, defeating his 65-kg opponent, Umer. His most recent accolade comes from the Fight Night in Tehran, where he clinched the title after facing Qasim Rahemi.

Despite numerous victories on the national stage, including the National Fight Tournament, Karachi Cage Fight League, Kick Boxing Fight, Kick Boxing Quetta, and Liyari Youth Fight, Muhammad faces challenges in securing sponsorship for international competitions.

Muhammad reveals the difficulties in finding sponsors, given the lack of awareness about MMA in Pakistan. He emphasizes the need to make people aware of the sport’s merits and health benefits.

The athlete shares his struggle with securing sponsorships, often having to approach multiple individuals for support. Rejected by many, Muhammad found backing from local businessman Shoib Buth, Niamat Allah Emat, Changazi Group, and some clubs.

He highlights the easier financing available for local-level competitions through clubs and organizers, whereas international competitions pose challenges due to visa and immigration issues.

While excelling in MMA, Muhammad is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering from Ilma University Karachi. Despite belonging to a middle-class family, the 27-year-old diligently works at a tea shop to cover expenses related to his studies, family, and his MMA club.

Muhammad’s daily routine is rigorous, starting at 5 am in the tea shop, practicing mixed martial arts at 3 pm, attending university at 5 pm, and concluding his day at midnight. Though financially unsupported by his family, Muhammad values their moral and psychological encouragement.

Expressing disappointment in the government’s focus on cricket, Muhammad believes that neglecting other sports leads to the underutilization of talented athletes. He urges the government to provide facilities and support for athletes to excel on the international stage, emphasizing the mental and physical benefits that games bring to individuals and the nation. Muhammad expresses his desire to continue fighting for his country and encourages the youth to actively participate in physical games

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