Some athletes used the pandemic-induced slowdown of 2020 to recuperate until they could return to the Circle, but Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat took a different route.
“When lockdown hit back in March last year, MMA gyms were shut down [for a few months], so I had to find something to do,” he recalls.
“For me, I had to stay busy and I had to keep my mind occupied. That’s when I found trading. I wanted to learn something inside out. I wanted to learn it better than the people who were already doing it.”
Mangat qualified as an accountant before he decided to chase his dreams in mixed martial arts, so he wasn’t completely green to the world of finances. Still, this was a whole new game.
But by applying the same tenacity and dedication that he has for martial arts to his new venture, “Saint Lion” started to see results.
“I am fully dedicated [to trading], even while getting ready for the fight,” the 34-year-old says.
“Even while sitting in my hotel, I’m trading. It keeps me sharp. And the discipline of learning from MMA is what made me so successful.”
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Putting in the hours was never going to be a problem for the Canadian-Indian star, who is used to working hard for his gains in the gym. But he also found other traits that crossed over between the two endeavors, which helped to make him a roaring success in the world of finance.
“The similarity between MMA and the stock market is that it’s all psychology. They always say in MMA that it is 99 percent mental and one percent physical once you’re in [the Circle], and that’s very true,” Mangat adds.
“Being able to see things, not panicking, being able to read things before everybody else, and getting ahead of everybody helps. Just like in MMA, the training that you have to do outside the fight is the same we have to do for the market. When the market is closed, I’m studying it and trying to get ahead.
“So for me, mixed martial arts has taught me to think outside the bubble and to think of new moves, and I think of the stock market in the same way. You have to think of the next trend before the entire market reaches there.”
It’s not just about the approach to training and preparation, either. Mangat has tasted a lot of success in his mixed martial arts career – after all, he owns a 15-3 professional record – and having humility after victory has allowed him to continue evolving.
“Saint Lion” has also faced adversity inside the Circle, and when things go spiraling in the wrong direction, it is the ability to keep a cool head that puts him back on track.
“If things go really high and you make a lot of money, [martial arts taught me] how not to get too high on it, how to stay humble, and how to keep yourself grounded,” Mangat reveals.
“If things are going down, [competing taught me] how not to panic and how to keep your head clear. A lot of these good lessons have made me very successful as a trader.”
The Xtreme Couture and 10th Planet Las Vegas representative has had so much success playing the markets that he could have called it a day on his physically demanding career in combat sports.
Although the thought crossed his mind, Mangat’s heart still lies in martial arts. Still, the Canadian-Indian admits that he has found another lifelong passion that will also serve as a career after his time in the Circle is over.
“I’ve been very successful at [trading] to a point where I didn’t think I needed to fight anymore,” he says.
“Even the people around me were asking why I would even want to fight again when I’ve created such a comfortable life during the pandemic.
“I am teaching people around me and just helping everybody out, but mixed martial arts always called me back.”
Before he becomes a full-time trader and puts a steep price tag on his advice, “Saint Lion” is willing to provide some tips to anybody who wants to try and follow his lead.
Again, it’s similar to the advice he’d give to someone beginning their martial arts journey.
“I would say learn it from the basics. Figure it out for yourself, and don’t follow any random accounts on Twitter, or some random Reddit posts,” he offers.
“These things take a lot of time and effort, a lot of practice, and a lot of trial and error. But what pays off in the end is the fact that I put in a lot of time into studying these things.”