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Interview: Hemant Wadekar talks about dropping to Welterweight, training routine, his upcoming fight, and more

Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Exclusive
483   //    31 Aug 2018, 23:11 IST

Hemant Wadekar looks to continue his winning ways against Seth Rosario this September
Hemant Wadekar looks to continue his winning ways against Seth Rosario this September

Hemant Wadekar is an Indian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, who is rose to prominence with his appearances in the SFL (Super Fight League). Wadekar boasts a record of 4 wins and 2 losses as a professional in the sport of MMA.

The popular Indian MMA Light-Heavyweight has now dropped down to Welterweight where he is set to face fellow MMA savant Seth Rosario on September 23rd.

I recently had the honor of interviewing Hemant Wadekar, who opened up on several topics including his move to the 170-pound division, his training, and so much more. Arguably one of the most highly-debated topics in the Mixed Martial Arts community--weight training for MMA--has also been expounded upon in this interview.

For those unaware of the Indian fighter's laurels--to his credit--Wadekar has wins over the likes of Shahzaman Khan, Sher Khan, Javed Mulla and Amit Sawant. Hemant Wadekar was kind enough to give us an exclusive insight into his training routine and which martial art disciplines he likes to focus on the most. Fans can read our discussion with Wadekar, below--


SK: Hello, Hemant. First of all, we’d like to congratulate you on your victory against Amit Sawant last year. How does it feel coming off such a dominant victory?

Thanks a lot. Well, I was fully confident about how the fight was going to get finished. I knew he is going to rush in for a right overhand providing me the perfect opportunity for a takedown. After getting Amit on the ground, it was just a matter of time before I got the work done.

SK: While most MMA fighters today prefer to be well-rounded, are there any specific martial arts that you like to focus on more than others?

I have been training in wrestling for the last 10 or 12 years. So, yes, I like to focus on wrestling more than others.

SK: Which department of the game do you consider your strength—striking or grappling?

As I have told earlier, I have been wrestling for the last 10 to 12 years—and I have also done BJJ under coach Sidhharth Singh of Crosstrain fight club and Bruno Carwalho of Team Quest. So I can say that grappling is my strength. 

SK: Do you prefer training with weights in the gym or do you use more of body-weight exercises in your training?

I'm lucky to have such a nice team with me. They have made a schedule for me, which comprises both weight training and callisthenics. Weight training for strength—and bodyweight training for cardio, endurance and agility.

SK: Which forms of cardio do you prefer doing (cycling, running, swimming, etc)?

For cardio I like to run but only running or jogging is not enough. I do wrestling and BJJ drills; and lots of bag and pad work for cardio.

SK: Are you happy with the training facilities in India or do you feel that countries such as the US, Brazil, UK, etc could benefit Indian MMA fighters more?

MMA is just in a beginning phase in India but nowadays we have good MMA gyms like Crosstrain fight club in Delhi, Evolution and Superhuman in Mumbai—but still, we can't compare them with the training facilities out there in the US or Brazil.

Training in the US or Brazil-based MMA gyms could definitely benefit Indian fighters as they have better facilities better coaches and a better team to train with. And one more thing—They also help you get fights.

SK: Which MMA gym do you currently train at in India?

I train at Crosstrain Fight Club, Delhi. Sidhharth Singh sir who is also the owner and head coach of CFC saw potential in me and is sponsoring my training since the beginning of my MMA career. 

SK: Perhaps one of the most important questions fans have for you—Why did Hemant Wadekar decide to cut to the Welterweight division?

I was doing well at Light-Heavyweight, but I wasn't happy with my speed and agility. There is also lack of competition in the higher weight categories in Indian MMA.

So in order to get some tough competition, I decided to move down to welterweight. In the future, if a good fighting opportunity is offered, I'm ready to even cut to Lightweight. 

SK: You face Seth Rosario on September 23rd, 2018. Any thoughts on your opponent?

Seth and I use to represent same team in SFL, so both of us know each other's strengths and weaknesses. He is one of the most humble fighters I have ever met.

He is from a karate background which means his striking is good But Seth doesn't know I'm coming with an arsenal full of new moves. One thing I can assure is that this is going to be a war, and I am going to walk out of the cage victorious. 

SK: On a closing note, do you have any message for your fans? 

Be there in Delhi on September 23rd, to witness some crazy a**-kicking. You will regret if you miss this fight.  

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Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Martial artist and combat Lover from Goa, India. Can be reached at johnypayne121@gmail.com
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