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X1.in Fight Night: Imkong to debut for pro fight

X1.in Fight Night: Imkong to debut for pro fight
Imkongsunep Jamir
Dimapur, Sep 29 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/29/2019 11:52:50 AM IST

Nagaland Post recently met with Imkongsunep Jamir, the first MMA professional fighter from Nagaland at The Combat Academy (TCA Nagaland). Imkong has been training for the past five weeks for his debut professional fight of his career.

NP: You won the YFC featherweight belt in Kohima 2 years back and last year you represented India at the world championships in Bahrain, what would be the highlight of your amateur career?
Yes I did win the YFC featherweight belt 2 years back in Kohima, however my first amateur bout was actually 4 years ago in Bangalore. It was after that win in Kohima that my coach, Khriemelie Metha- Head Coach of The Combat Academy- Nagaland (TCA Nagaland), felt it was time to take it to next level and we decided to go abroad and compete. I fought at Ultimate Beatdown in Borneo, Malaysia, against a fighter from Evolve MMA who was at that time ranked the 4th best amateur bantamweight in Asia. As always we trained hard and got the win. 
Last year I represented India at the World Championships and won my first bout against Czech Republic. It was in the quarterfinals that I lost to Japan and was handed my first ever loss. Today my amateur MMA record is 9-1.  Winning the YFC belt with the home crowd behind me is the highlight of my amateur career. It was a 4 man tournament, I had to beat 2 opponents on 2 consecutive days. The entire team at TCA Nagaland trained very hard, that belt was for my coach and my teammates.
NP: Amongst your fights which one has been the hardest and why?
Against japan’s Daisuke Murayama who is a highly skilled fighter and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt. He specialises on one aspect of MMA and that is submissions. I allowed the fight to go where he wanted and was thus handed my only loss. 
NP: You’re the only Naga MMA athlete to win a MMA championship belt, represent the country at World championships and now the first Naga athlete to turn professional. What is the next step for you?
I’m not the ‘only’ I’am just the ‘first’. My teammate from TCA Nagaland, Ketholetuo Nagi also won the YFC straw weight championship belt in Mumbai the following year.
I will continue to train hard; hands up, chin down and like my 9-1 amateur career, I will continue my winning ways.
NP: You’re the first professional fighter from Nagaland, how is the prospective talent here and what are the career opportunities?
There is a ton of potential here, there are so many talented amateur fighters at TCA Nagaland. On the 5th October X1 Card you’ll also get to see some of my teammates fight. Victor Angami, a crowd favourite will be in the co-main event. Kekhrieneitso Angami and Mairidin Newmai are amongst the younger lot that will be fighting. Arsenba Ozukum and Avizo Lanamai Legiesie, they won’t be fighting that night but these boys are just 18 years old. They are smarter, younger, stronger and also capable of becoming World Champions one day. They have started training so much earlier than i did and like they say, the sky is the limit. The major obstacle for all right now is the need for nutritional supplements like whey protein, BCAA, etc. These become very expensive. I’ve been fortunate enough to have Nagaland Post and Nagaland Minerals and Mines sponsor me for my fight in Malaysia. Without sponsorships on these, it becomes difficult to compete at higher levels.  
Leaving aside a professional combat career. Coaching martial arts and being a personal fitness trainer is also a career option. A small city like Dimapur has 3 MMA gyms already. TCA Nagaland out of which i train was the first; today there is Anabolic Nation/Naga Bushido by Jamie Chenithung, who is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt and recently won the ADCC India grappling open in Delhi. Hemavi Ayemi, multiple times Muay Thai India nationals winner, trained by my head coach, Khriemelie Metha, at TCA Nagaland has also recently opened his own gym, Strike- Fit Academy. 
NP: You were suppose to fight PC Vanlalthuammawia initially, did the opponent change to George Lalmuanawma from SPES-Aizawl bother you in any way?
It doesn’t matter who I was going to fight or who I will fight. My game plan is always to dominate. I always train hard to deserve that win.
What do you promise for the spectators at the Indoor Badminton Stadium on the 5th of October.
I promise to bring more laurels to my team, repay the faith my coach has always had in me and continue to bring glory for my people. I am always, Naga and proud.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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