ONE Championship is leading the Indian martial arts revolution on the international stage by building new heroes for more than 1.3 billion potential fans.
The nation has been something of a sleeping giant in The Home Of Martial Arts, despite being the birthplace for many of Asia’s oldest disciplines. However, it is starting to see success as talented young athletes break through with wins on the global stage.
Now with ONE’s partnership with Hotstar to air events in India, mixed martial arts is set to get even bigger in India, and these heroes are likely to be at the forefront of that growth if they can continue to perform at this level.
These are the best bouts from Indian athletes in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
#5 Himanshu Kaushik Vs. Egi Rozten
Delhi’s Himanshu Kaushik entered ONE with a reputation for his top-class stand-up skills, but it was his ever-evolving ground game that brought him his first-round victory at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT in January.
The Delhi Wushu Academy representative had a lot of success with his striking in the early moments of his match with Egi Rozten as he scored with kicks, but the end came when he caught a kick, tripped his rival and unloaded with ground and pound.
Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol was expected to continue her red-hot form from 2018 when she stepped into the Circle in her hometown of Jakarta, Indonesia at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, but Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar had other plans.
The 25-year-old from Bhopal edged this battle of wushu specialists with her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills as she attacked with hard strikes from mount and came close with a guillotine choke. After 15 minutes of non-stop action, Tomar took a hard-earned split decision.
#3 Rajinder Singh Meena Vs. Zhang Ze Hao
In yet another case of a striker showing there was more to his game than just punches and kicks, Rajinder “Knockout” Singh Meena celebrated last year’s India’s Republic Day with a first-round guillotine choke of “The Ghost” Zhang Ze Hao.
The SEA Games wushu silver medalist still managed to show off some of his power on the feet as he dropped his Chinese rival after a flurry of hooks, and then finished the job with the tightest of submission holds.
#2 Rahul Raju Vs. Richard Corminal
Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju has threatened to do something special in ONE for a while now, and he finally showed the world what he was capable of in an incredible, one-round battle with Richard “Notorious” Corminal at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON.
The 28-year-old looked to be in control of the contest as he landed clean, hard punches on his Filipino opponent, but he then had to survive a scare when he hit the canvas off two big right hands. However, Raju recovered almost immediately to score a takedown, let loose with strikes, and then finish the job with a rear-naked choke.
#1 Gurdarshan Mangat Vs. Toni Tauru
Among all of India’s rising stars, Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat may have the most potential, and he showed why in a phenomenal debut on the global stage in March.
Mangat was relentless with punches, kicks, and knees, and most fans could see the stoppage coming long before referee Olivier Coste stepped in to end the match. If he can replicate that kind of performance against Abro “The Black Komodo” Fernandes at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY on 12 July, he could put himself on the fast track to the top.