India-born Gurdarshan Mangat battles depression to make mark at ONE Championship
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] Dec 2 (ANI/NewsVoir): Having overcome depression, India-born Mixed Martial Art (MMA) exponent Gurdarshan Mangat will look forward to clinching a win when he takes the ring against Reece McLaren at ONE Mark of Greatness to be held at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on December 6.
Growing up in a small town in Canada, Mangat had his cousin to look up to, who introduced him to MMA. It was his demise that hit the child of Indian immigrants hard, pushing him into the abyss of loneliness and anxiety. Not just that, Mangat also had to deal with asthma and hernia but he did not let all that take control of his life as he fought his way to a decisive victory over MMA veteran Abro Fernandes at the Axiata Arena in July.
"You know what it feels like when you cannot get air and your lungs are compressed. People do not know how much work and effort I put into my endurance and my training to be able to show up and put on that kind of performance. It does not just come naturally to me", said Mangat.
The 32-year-old also honed his skills sparring alongside reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious Johnson. And that helped him improve to 2-0 with ONE Championship and 15-2 overall in his career with his other victory being over MMA veteran Toni Tauru.
Now that he has proven his worth twice with ONE Championship, Mangat, who put together a stellar 6-2 mark as an amateur coming up through the ranks, is upbeat about his upcoming fight.
When the youngster was pushed off the track by depression and loneliness, it was champion Vitor Belfort's healing words which lifted him and restored his self-confidence. Mangat also benefitted from working with a sports psychologist.
"Now I am actually enjoying my career, it is because of ONE Championship. The way it is all set up, I know how many people are watching and what I represent to them. It inspires me to produce my best and the fan support encourages me to give more every time I enter the ring", said Mangat, who looks forward to visiting his roots in India.
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