KARACHI: Pakistan's mixed martial arts (MMA) pioneer Bashir Ahmad has joined the management of ONE Championship — Asia's biggest MMA promotion.
The 34-year-old becomes the first ONE Championship fighter to be promoted to management role.
Bashir, whose last ONE FC outing resulted in a first-round submission win over Egypt's Mahmoud Mohamed, will now double as the promotion's Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships.
“This is a major milestone in my martial arts journey," said Bashir. "From having made my name and career as an athlete in ONE to now being able to bring other talents to the organization and promote the spirit and values of martial arts is a supreme honor. I look forward to enhance the reputation that ONE has established for itself as Asia’s premiere martial arts organization."
Bashir, who famously gave up a career in US military to start Pakistan's MMA movement, further said: "I want to thank ONE, the martial arts community of Asia and most importantly the martial arts family of Pakistan, who have made me who I am today. I am known as the ‘Godfather’ of this sport in Pakistan and I hope to take that title and expand it to all of Asia.”
The transition to ONE FC management, however, doesn't mean Bashir's fighting days are over.
"I am not retiring and I won't for a while," he told The Express Tribune when asked if Pakistan's MMA fans have seen the last of him inside the cage.