MMA stars continue to make Pakistan proud but don't get recognition they deserve

Uloomi Karim became MFN bantamweight champion of the world on Friday

November 19, 2022
Pakistani fighters have impressed at the international level in the recent past — Instagram/Uloomi Karim

DUBAI: Uloomi Karim needed just three minutes and 27 seconds to become the Matrix Fight Night (MFN) bantamweight champion of the world on Friday in Dubai.

A ferocious right jab, followed by a slew of punches with his opponent down on the ground, was enough to knock out India’s Dhruv Chaudhary in the first round of the co-main event.

With the win Uloomi, who is nicknamed ‘Kratos’, improved his professional MMA record to 9-6.

The Hunza-born fighter is a household name for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) enthusiasts in Pakistan and his victory doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have followed his journey in the sport closely.

The 31-year-old is coached by his brother, Ehtisham Karim Shaheen, and founder of Team Fight Fortress, based in Islamabad, meanwhile his sister, Anita Karim, is Pakistan’s first female MMA fighter.

After winning his fight, Uloomi also paid a glowing tribute to Ehtisham for playing a key role in his development.

“I have a rollercoaster of emotions. So many ups and downs in my life but I’m grateful for everything,” Uloomi said immediately after the fight.

“My big brother Ehtisham has been training me since day one. He is the guy who brought me into the sport. We are the pioneers of MMA in Pakistan and this guy has made it all possible,” he added while urging the audience to give his coach a round of applause.

Uloomi is not the only name in Pakistan combat sports who has made the country proud, recently.

Earlier this month, Ismail 'Volcano' Khan defeated Gerlan Rodrigues in his first professional fight outside Pakistan in Cairo, Egypt, through unanimous decision at the Qadya 002.

Meanwhile, Eman 'Falcon' Khan won a bronze medal in the Flyweight 56.7kg category of the 2022 IMMAF Asian Championships last month.

Additionally, rising star Abdullah Chandio had knocked out India's Muhammad Shuhaib in his first international fight at the BKK Kickboxing Championship in October.

Another win for Pakistan is on the cards as well since Ahmed 'Wolverine' Mujtaba will face Brazil's Abraao Amorim during the prelims of ONE Championship 163, later today in Singapore.

Despite regular wins for Pakistani fighters in international events, the players still struggle to gain sponsorships and better facilities.

It goes without saying that with proper backing from the government and the private sector, the local fighters have all the potential to keep the Pakistani flag flying high on the international arena. 

Muneeb Farrukh is a staffer at