Thursday, 21 March 2013 17:00 | By Esther Tan & Tan Thiam Peng

A fighter with a vision - ONE FC's Bashir Ahmad

Recognized as the “Godfather” of MMA in Pakistan, this Iraq War veteran sleeps in a mosque here in Singapore as he trains for his upcoming MMA fight, the first international bout for a Pakistani


ONE Fighting Championship (© ONE Fighting Championship)

After growing up in the United States, a passion for mixed martial arts (MMA) led Bashir Ahmad to leave his comfort zone and return home to Pakistan with a dream - to set up an MMA gym for Pakistanis.

Today, ONE FC's Bashir Ahmad is not only a professional MMA fighter, but also runs Synergy MMA, the largest MMA gym in the country, and heads up the PAKMMA promotion there.

Recognized as the "Godfather" of MMA in Pakistan, Bashir Ahmad is currently gearing up for his fight against Thailand's Shannon Wiratchai at ONE FC: KINGS AND CHAMPIONS on 5 April at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which marks the first time that Pakistan is being represented in an international professional MMA match.

“I’ll be making history in that sense,” said Bashir, acknowledging that while one fight will not change things in Pakistan, he hopes to at least make his people proud.

Channeling pressure into motivation, Bashir feels excited and confident about meeting his opponent in the ring come 5 April. The fighter currently has three fights under his belt, all of which he felt did not "challenge" him.

“This is the first time I’m going to be facing someone who really knows what the MMA game is about and now I can really see where I am.“ said Bashir.

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