Defying odds: Naga MMA fighter Sorikhiung Yimchunger’s golden journey

Defying odds: Naga MMA fighter Sorikhiung Yimchunger's golden journey

Sorikhiung Yimchunger, an 18-year-old MMA fighter from Nagaland, has made his mark on the national stage by winning the gold medal in the 53.6 kg category at the 5th Series of the PML National Youth Mixed Martial Arts Championship 2024. The event, held at the Andheri West Sports Complex in Mumbai from June 22 to 23, showcased the young fighter’s exceptional skills and determination.

Hailing from Yakor village in Shamator District and currently residing in Chümoukedima, Sorikhiung has always harboured a passion for fighting. Despite completing his schooling only up to the 9th standard, he took a bold step by joining the Octafit club in Bangalore three months ago to pursue professional MMA training. This championship marked his debut in a national competition, and his victory has brought immense pride to his community and family.

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Sorikhiung credits his father, Zhewong Yimchunger, a renowned martial arts fighter from the 90s in Tuensang District, for being his first trainer and a constant source of inspiration. Zhewong’s guidance and encouragement played a pivotal role in shaping Sorikhiung’s fighting techniques and fitness regimen, providing the foundation for his success.

To excel in the demanding world of MMA, Sorikhiung has adopted a rigorous training and diet plan. Since moving to Bangalore, he has followed a strict diet that includes consuming an abundance of fruits and vegetables, eating small meals regularly, staying hydrated, and using muscle blaze supplements to support muscle growth and repair. This disciplined approach has been instrumental in maintaining his energy levels, focus, and strength during intense training sessions and fights.

The path to success has not been without its challenges for Sorikhiung. He has faced numerous physical, mental, and emotional hurdles, but his unwavering determination and positive mindset have helped him overcome these obstacles. By setting realistic goals, practising continuously, seeking support from loved ones, and maintaining a strong sense of purpose, Sorikhiung has proven that dedication and perseverance are the keys to achieving one’s dreams.

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For aspiring fighters in Nagaland, Sorikhiung offers valuable advice drawn from his own experiences. He emphasises the importance of training in multiple disciplines and having a genuine passion for fighting. Patience, inspiration, and motivation are essential qualities that young fighters must cultivate. Sorikhiung encourages them to reflect on their reasons for fighting and to give their all in training. He also stresses the significance of learning from failures and never giving up, as these experiences shape a fighter’s character and resilience.

Education remains a priority for Sorikhiung, who urges young Nagas to complete their education before pursuing their goals. He believes that by putting God first, being patient, learning from mistakes, and constantly challenging oneself, individuals can uncover their true potential and achieve greatness in their chosen fields.

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Following his triumphant performance at the national championship, Sorikhiung Yimchunger is set to represent India at the International fight at KFL Sri Lanka. The Yimkhiung Sports Association (YSA) has extended its heartfelt congratulations to the young fighter, recognising his discipline and dedication as the hallmarks of a rising star from the historic Land of Headhunters. The association has expressed its confidence in Sorikhiung’s ability to continue excelling and inspiring others through his sportsmanship and achievements.

Sorikhiung Yimchunger’s journey from a small village in Nagaland to the national MMA stage is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and the unwavering support of family and community.

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