Bharat Khandare made the headlines in India after becoming the first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter to be signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the biggest and most popular MMA promotion in the world. Khandare was thrilled to be the first Indian fighter to be signed to the promotion and was looking to make a big impact in his debut fight at UFC Shanghai.
Khandare had to face nineteen year old Chinese fighter Song Yadong and the two fighters had an intense stare down during the weigh-ins. Sony decided to televise the full UFC Shanghai card in India as Khandare has a strong MMA following in the country and MMA experts believed that if he could pull off his first in the UFC, it would spark a major interest in India.
Khandare Outclassed By Song
Khandare has trained mostly in India and has a strong background in wrestling, which includes mud wrestling with fighters above his 145 pound weight-class. However when he stepped into the Octagon, he looked very amateurish and did not display the technique that one would expect from a seasoned fighter. Ironically, it was the 19 year old who controlled the Octagon and displayed some great stand-up and completely outclassed Khandare.
Khandare looked rushed and panicky throughout his fight as he tried a couple of spinning back fists which came had no timing to it and was telegraphed well in advance. Khandare managed to throw one roundhouse punch that would have knocked out a horse had it landed but once again it missed Song by a long way. When Song decided to have a go, he did not miss and landed cleanly to bring Khandare down.
Before he could recover, Song had Khandare in a front choke and while Khandare tried to push himself off the cage and break it, Song maintained his composure and tightened the choke to get Khandare to tape before the first round and give the Chinese teen sensation his first victory in the UFC.
Khandare Will Go To 135
This will obviously be a big disappointment to Khandare and his fans but it also gives him a great idea of the level of talent and competition in the UFC and the work that he needs to do to become a force in the UFC. There are reports that Khandare will drop down a weight-class for his next fight and will be hoping for a better result as he is the face of MMA in India at the moment.