Shillong, Aug 30: Three Meghalaya MMA fighters had a difficult journey to get to a tournament in Manipur but overcame the challenge to win their bouts.

Rilang Kupar Katrai and his students Iohbor Shylla and Bannangkhrawnam Mylliemngap set off for Imphal on 26th August by bus. After an 18-hour journey they reached the border of Manipur but faced a problem – they hadn’t applied for an Inner Line Permit before leaving and were detained by police.

“We had lost hope and we were tired and hungry as well and we thought that we would not be able to participate,” Katrai said. “But all thanks to God, finally, with the help of Raymond Kurbah from Shillong, who is the founder of Ray’s Combat Team and a coach and MMA trainer as well, we got the permission letter and were able to leave the police station to go and participate.”

However, their long journey wasn’t over yet, as it still took them another 3 hours to get from the police station to Imphal. That left the trio little time to freshen up before their bouts that same day. However, Katrai requested the organisers to push their fights back just to give them a little more time to relax and, thankfully, that was agreed to.

Despite all they went through, the Meghalaya fighters won their respective bouts, Shylla by knockout and Mylliemngap by decision.

“All praise to God who was with us throughout the journey. The organisers of the event were so amazed with my students and with the way they fought because they came to know about what all we had to undergo to get to that event and, even though we didn’t get to rest a bit during the entire journey, we won the bouts,” Katrai said. “They also apologised to us for what we had to go through at the police station due to ILP. But, finally, all’s well that ends well. Our journey was worth it and we are just glad that we won and we have learned so much from this experience.”

(Ray’s Combat Team photo)

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