Himanshu Kaushik knows that every setback can offer an opportunity, so he intends to make the most of the time he now has on his hands.
The Indian star is currently training to the best of his abilities during his nation’s COVID-19 lockdown so that he can explode out of the blocks when ONE Championship’s 2020 calendar of events resumes.
With gyms in India closed and stay-at-home notices in force, he has taken different steps to upgrade his body and mind for his return to the Circle.
“I am trying to do as much training as I can at home so that I keep busy. As of now, I am doing some CrossFit exercises. My whole focus is on my conditioning and increasing my stamina,” offers the 29-year-old Delhi resident.
“I am also trying to better my grappling game. I am working a lot on this, and I will continue doing it in the future. Plus, I am also meditating every morning. I think it is really important for everyone to meditate.
“I am really excited and looking forward to returning to the Circle. Whenever I get the opportunity, I will be completely ready.”
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Though the pandemic has tempered the Indian wushu champion’s hopes of a quick return to action, he has a target in his sights that has kept him motivated while he waits for the call to make a comeback.
Kaushik squared off against former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong “Kru Rong” Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in November 2018, but despite a spirited performance, he lost to a second-round rear-naked choke.
However, he believes he is capable of beating the Muay Thai legend if they face each other again.
“I would like to fight Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke next because the last time we fought, I was not fully fit,” he explains.
“I performed well in the first round, but I fatigued very quickly and I could not give 100 percent. I hope I get a rematch because I have been waiting for this match for a long time now.”
The wushu stylist surprised fans with some high-amplitude takedowns and a dogged determination to battle out of tough spots on the ground. Though Dejdamrong eventually finished the contest with a rear-naked choke, Kaushik took confidence from his performance.
He took lessons from it, too, and has since made a concerted effort to improve his grappling game so he can compete with his division’s top athletes.
The Crossfit Fitness Academy representative showed marked improvements when he finished Egi Rozten with a stunning display of ground and pound at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT in January 2019, and he wants to bring that to bear against “Kru Rong.”
“I have improved my game, especially my grappling. If there is a rematch in the future, I would try to go for more takedowns, land ground and pound, and submit him,” he says.
However, Kaushik’s biggest motivation to take on the decorated veteran for a second time is not redemption, but the chance to show that Indian athletes are improving.
A win over Dejdamrong on the global stage would bring pride to his nation and show them that their burgeoning mixed martial artists can make an impact in the upper echelon of the sport.
“I want to prove that Indians are not only good at striking, but also grappling,” he asserts.
“I would like to correct my mistakes in the previous match, and make my countrymen proud!”