Roshan Mainam and Gary Mangat are friends from the Super Fight League days. Their careers have taken different trajectories but these flyweights find themselves thrown together in a catchweight clash at ONE: ‘Dangal’.

Mainam will be looking to make it four wins out of four for ONE Championship while Mangat is looking to bounce back after suffering his first loss since 2017.  Their careers could be heading in opposite directions but the 25 year old was reluctant to fight a man he regards as something of a mentor,

“I never expected that I would ever fight with Gurdarshan Mangat. However, I am looking forward to the fight. To be honest, I am a bit hesitant to go up against him. But my team and ONE Championship have put the responsibility on my shoulders, and I will do my best inside the circle.”

Roshan Mainam punches Liu Peng Shuai

Older brother

Mangat is of Indian descent but was born and raised in Canada where he started his MMA career. He is nine years older than Mainam and much more experienced than him. The Evolve MMA representative makes it clear he has a lot of respect for his veteran opponent,

“We both were a part of Super Fight League in 2017, and I was really excited to meet him. After that, we started to get to know each other very well. He is like an older brother to me. He has tremendous experience and he supports me a lot.”

Mainam acknowledges that his opponent’s striking will be superior. But having won the state wrestling championships four times in his native Delhi he brings a threat of his own to the table,

“Gurdarshan is a very good striker, and he has a lot more experience than me. By the time I got into MMA, he already had tons of fight experience,” he says.

Liu Peng Shuai kicks Roshan Mainam

Winning streak

But Mainam has won all three of his ONE Championship fights with a stoppage and hopes to extend that streak at ONE: ‘Dangal’,

“I think his striking and experience are his biggest strengths. If I get an opportunity, then I would definitely go for the submission.”

The event will be broadcast on May 15th and is sure to attract a big audience in India. Come fight night Mainam will be putting their friendship aside but he makes it clear there is no animosity between the two rivals,

“We will be inside the circle for 15 minutes where we will be performing our professional duties. I don’t think the result will affect our friendship in any way.”