Uloomi Karim Shaheen of Gilgit Baltistan stirs in Thailand
By: Hassan Bokhari
Islamabad, August 09 (Sost Today)Local Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and boy wonder Uloomi Karim Shaheen successfully won a muay thai match in Thailand via TKO (Technical Knock Out) in two rounds to make an impression in the international community on Sunday, August 3.
Uloomi, who now boasts a professional record of four wins and two losses, trains at the Fight Fortress Gym in Islamabad. His most recent encounter at the Bangla Stadium in Phuket was his first muay thai fight against England’s Andy, a more seasoned athlete who has 12 bouts under his belt.
Hailing from the village of Shamshal, Gojal of Hunza-Nagar in Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistani is currently training as a pro-sponsored fighter at Phuket Top Team, one of Asia’s best and biggest MMA training facilities.
Sponsored by Beverley Ayesha, a Canadian-Muslim martial artist, Uloomi will continue to train at the facility till the second week of September, along with participating in a pro MMA event called Full Metal Dojo on August 23.
Sunday’s fight was arranged by Hassan Khokhar and Sarfaraz Ahmed, owners of Lion Muay Thai, the first and only Pakistani gym for the sport in Phuket. It was here that Uloomi prepared for the encounter, free of charge.
The 23-year-old, however, has credited his success to his brother Ehtisham, who is also his coach.
“Ehtisham owns the Fight Fortress in Islamabad, the gym where I train and where I’ve learnt everything,” Uloomi told The Express Tribune. “He has helped many youngsters realise their dream in the city.”
While speaking of his current status he said, “This camp and trip means a lot to me. Not because I got an international vacation paid by someone else, but because to me this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“This could be the make or break situation for me. This is the fruit of my coach and big brother Ehtisham’s hard work day and night for almost six years backed by the support of our parents, who kept encouraging us to work harder.
“I felt my dream coming true when I raised the flag after winning the fight. It was a very emotional moment for me.”
Meanwhile, Waleed Shah, a prominent member of the Pak-MMA and Synergy Gym in Lahore praised Uloomi on his success.
“I speak on behalf of the gym and Bashir Ahmad, pioneer of MMA in Pakistan, when I say that we are all really proud of Uloomi and what he has achieved, not only for Pakistan but also for the future of MMA in the country,” said Shah.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.