sports gazette

MMA needs to prepare for a new star, as Balraj 'The Beast' Bhatti is aiming high

Balraj 'The Beast' Bhatti
Published: 15 Feb 2017

Balraj Bhatti wants to prove his critics wrong by showing them what he can do in the ring.

Balraj ‘The Beast’ Bhatti is an amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter hoping to make a name for himself.

The 17-year-old is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) expert, and he started fighting at a young age after his dad encouraged him to.

He said: “My dad used to do karate and he got me in to it. He started teaching me when I was four, and when I turned six he put me onto kickboxing. I fell in love with kickboxing and won loads of medals.”

Almost seven years later when MMA became popular, Bhatti thought he would give it a try.

His expertise in BJJ, such an essential part of an MMA fighter's arsenal, was supplemented well by his karate and kickboxing.

“I’ve been doing it for three years now, and in that time I have become the British champion three times,” he said.

Bhatti has also become the North American champion twice, the Southend champion five times, and the London champion too.

He understands it is hard coming from an Asian background, but has the full support of his family going forward.

Bhatti said: “There's always going to be some criticism, but I do my talking in the ring. My family are 100% behind me.”

Despite being only 17-years-old, Bhatti fights against adults. Obviously, fighting at a higher level can sometimes be painful, but he revels in the sport that has brought him so much confidence.

“I feel like I rule the fighting game because it takes guts to get in there and do it. People get scared watching MMA and grappling, but actually taking part is a whole different game,” he said.

Bhatti is used to emerging from the ring victorious, having not lost a fight since February 2016, but he says it is how you respond to the rare losses that is most important.

“I have lost in the past so losing is the difficult part of it, but it’s about how you get over it. Not many people can get in there and do what I do, so it’s about how I move forward.”

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