Bajrang Punia to Become First Indian Wrestler to Participate in New York Fight NightSports Buzz

April 27, 2019 10:23
Bajrang Punia to Become First Indian Wrestler to Participate in New York Fight Night

(Image source from: Star of Mysore)

India’s freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia will soon walk the famed hallways of the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York to participate in the “Grapple at the Garden - Beat the Streets” fight night, scheduled on May 6.

Bajrang is the first Indian to be invited by the USA Wrestling, the national governing body for the sport in the United States.

Bajrang, who won gold in the Asian championship recently and world No. 1 in his weight category, will take on two-time U.S. national champion Yianni Diakomihalis in the 65kg category.

While Diakomihalis is on a 47-match unbeaten streak, Bajrang too has had a golden run. The 25-year-old has bagged eight gold medals in his last nine international tournaments, including first-place finishes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asiad.

"Madison Square Garden is one of the biggest and most famous arenas of the world and I am very excited. This exposure will help me become a better wrestler," Bajrang told TOI.

Bajrang said fighting at the Madison Square Garden arena will be a totally new experience.

"I still can't believe that a wrestler from a small village in Haryana has got the opportunity to fight on such a big stage. This will be a different experience altogether. I am happy and nervous at the same time," the 25-year-old said.

The event will also see 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist Kyle Snyder and 2012 London Olympics gold medallist Jordan Burroughs - both from the United States - contesting

By Sowmya Sangam

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wrestling  new york