Abdul Azim Badakhshi spent a year in prison. He was released in June and made a triumphant return to the cage last month with a quickfire stoppage win at Matrix Fight Night 13.

It seems he had access to a phone while incarcerated in Tihar Jail. Badakhshi appears to have had his own room as well which is probably a luxury in an Indian prison.

But conditions for training were far from ideal. Badakhshi  is now a free man and for the first time he shared a video of his prison training regime:

Makeshift gym

It looks like Badakhshi was also sleeping in his makeshift gym. He didn’t have a punch bag but hung an empty bottle from a washing line in order to practise his striking.

The Afghan also filled water bottles with sand and used them as makeshift weights. While it is safe to say that Badakhshi was living in better conditions that the average Indian inmate he did not have access to the type of facilities most fighters would take for granted.

Among the comments was one from the Matrix Fight Night matchmaker Krishna Shroff. She told Badakhshi that there is,

“nobody like you. Embraced the darkness and came back bigger, better and stronger. Can’t keep a good man down.”

Always a fighter

Shroff also happens to be Badakhshi’s long term girlfriend. She stood by his side during the time he was in prison and her mother Ayesha Shroff, who happens to be the Matrix Fight Night promoter, also left a comment reading,

“Always a fighter. Never a whiner.”

Badakhshi made a triumphant return at Matrix Fight Night 13. He knocked out Hae Jin Park in just 18 seconds to leave himself on the cusp of a featherweight title shot.

Full story

In the buildup to the event the full story about Badakhshi’s extended absence began to emerge. He was accused of assaulting Indian fighter Srikant Sekhar at Matrix Fight Night 9.

In the aftermath of that incident Ayesha Shroff announced that Afghan fighters were banned from competing on Matrix Fight Night cards. She clearly wasn’t a fan of her daughter’s boyfriend back then.

Badakhshi appears to have finally won the respect of the Shroff family. That is no small thing because they are legendary in Bollywood circles with Jackie Shroff, Krishna’s father, one of the most famous actors of his generation.

These days Badakhshi has access to some of the best training facilities India has to offer. It is a far cry from his prison training regime but the Afghan has finally battled his way back into title contention.