An insightful chat with MMA fighter Isaac Kario Maheo
By Vangamla Salle K S
New Delhi [India], Feb.18 (ANI): Meet Isaac! Hailing from the remotest region of Northeast India, Isaac Kario Maheo, have come a long way in life, competing among the world top fighters of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Known for an iron body, razor mind and the mastery of lethal skills once in action on the ring, Isaac becomes the winner of India's first-ever reality show based on MMA titled 'Super Fight League Challengers' in 2012.
Since then, for Isaac, there has been no turning back and in 2014, he went on to win a professional fight league 'CageSport XXIX' at Emerald Casino in Tacoma, Washington, USA.
And now, the one and only professional ring fighter from the northeast region, Isaac Kario Maheo is in the national capital of India vouching for his team, Goa Pirates as the team captain in Super Fight League 2017.
The team is all set to show a full throttle functional strength and raw adrenaline for semi-final taking on with Delhi Heroes today at Siri Fort Auditorium.
And before the curtains curled up for the semi-final fight, we had a quick conversation with a flight attendant turned professional MMA fighter.
So, Isaac, being a flight steward to becoming a professional MMA fighter, how has been your journey so far?
Isaac: Growing up, I always love sports and wanted to do something related to sport. I really never had chance and had to work to look out for myself basically. I used to be steward for an airline. And later I came to a point where I started questioning myself like; is it just a regular source of income am I looking for or go for what I wanted to do in life? So, I quit my job and got into this and I have no regrets so far.
From a glamorous profession to fighting ring, it must have been a very challenging decision for you?
Isaac: It was not really a tough decision actually. I just had to answer one question to myself. Am I going to follow my heart or follow one source of income? Once I made up my choice, I had followed my heart and it was kind of simple actually. But yes of course, there's a huge lot differences on work grounds on both the jobs because the first time I got punch, I felt like…oh ok this is real.
Who has been your source of inspirations all this time?
Isaac said, "I don't have a specific role model but I do take inspirations from a lot of people. It is not necessarily big names but even who might never made news. Those kinds of people inspire me. For example, my mom, she's like really hard working. And yes, not even from the family people but even from random people here and there. Little things I take inspiration from those things."
Your mom has been your rain and sunshine in your life, tell us more about her?
Isaac said, "My mom doesn't want to me to fight since day one, she has never wanted me to do this but at the same time, she doesn't stop me. So I am grateful for my mom understanding me this way. And she is my biggest critic and that's also the biggest challenge of me. When it comes to criticism, you can take it either way. But if it is from my mom, it makes me think a lot."
MMA has been one of the second fastest growing sports in the world, kindly enlightens us more about it?
Isaac said, "Mixed martial art is actually a real fighting with certain safety precautions like you cannot poke someone in the eye or head, the coronary or the spine area. I think it is a pure form of fighting. Because when it comes to traditional martial arts, you can only box and kick or you going to be only wrestling or only on the ground trying to lock each other. But in mixed martial art, it gets everything. You can fight in all three positions."
How do you prepare yourself for a fight and what is the first thing that clicks your mind when you step-in the ring?
Isaac: Everyone who fights has their own background and stories and that is inspiration to me. It's not just me but there are students who want to get into fighting, everyone has some background or the other. The way we prepare for fight, everyone has their own way and for me, I get really sleepy. I become really relax and it works for me that way. Mixing emotions before a fight and getting aggression is a little too late I think.
How do you see yourself in years down the line?
Isaac said, "Fighting was something I got into because I thought I like sports and I had a chance to do it. I think I am not going quit, I am getting old but I would like pick a fight or two once I am healed. I am injured right now and I cannot continue this tournament and yes down the line, I think I will keep doing it."
"Nowadays, more of northeast youths are inclined towards sports and at the same time, they have shown their potential, so are you planning to take forward the legacy of fighting and mould them for future prospective?
Isaac said, "There a lot of youngsters from our region who came up to me and shares their interest. I believe that there's a lot potential back home (Northeast region) and I also want to encourage them. It's not necessarily MMA because the fight is brutal. But when it comes to sports, people from our region can do well. They just need to be given a platform, a chance to train somewhere in their own interest sport field."
Best experienced moments with co-fighters please
Isaac said,"One thing about fighting, it's not just about the sports but you get to meet a lot of good people. I have met a lot of good friends, there's a guy in our team, Clinton Czeczok. I stayed with him in US for about 7 or 8 months. The only reason he came to India was actually we could meet again; it was a way to meet us. Now, he's been winning three fights and he's one of the active fighters. (ANI)