Kickboxer Abdullah Chandio Set For Back-To-Back Fights For FCC Dubai

Kickboxer Abdullah Chandio Set For Back-To-Back Fights For FCC Dubai
At only 22 years old, Abdullah Chandio has emerged through the ranks of the Pakistani kickboxing circuit as one of its most promising prospects. Having spent a majority of his young career struggling to find opponents in Pakistan, Abdullah is set to fight twice in one night for Fight Club Championship (FCC) in Dubai on June 10th. Whereas most fighters would view this as a daunting task, Abdullah welcomes the challenge with open arms and close fists.

Abdullah’s first big opportunity came in October 2022 as he faced India’s Muhammad Shuhaib for BKK International in Dubai. Despite being a ten-time Indian national champion in muay thai and kickboxing, Shuhaib was outclassed by Abdullah Chandio with the Pakistani striking prodigy adding another knockout in his highlight reel within two rounds. The knockout sent shockwaves through the Pakistani combat sports community as it revealed what many already knew: Abdullah Chandio is undoubtedly the future of Pakistani kickboxing.

Abdullah has trained at the legendary K7 Academy in Karachi under the tutelage of a martial arts legend in Jamil Ahmed Chandio and one of the best striking coaches in the country, Rizwan Khan Orakzai. He started training at Muay Thai Muppets in Dubai before his aforementioned fight in October 2022 under muay thai virtuoso Jason Woodham. Abdullah has now moved to Dubai in hopes of finding and availing more opportunities. We spoke to Abdullah Chandio ahead of his tournament fight and asked him about the big move:

“I was in Pakistan and I got no opportunities, no fights, nothing. I was always looking for fights. I spoke to my manager Azeem and said ‘get out of there while you can’. I had to put together money to travel, get my visa, pay my rent, and everything else. I got here and my coach (Jason Woodham) immediately said ‘you have a fight next Saturday’ and I just thought ‘okay, let's do it.’”

Asking him about the immediate risk of having to fight twice in one night, Abdullah showed no hesitance and welcomed the risk that lays ahead: “I don’t care if I win or lose. If I get knocked out, no worries. I’ll fight and I’ll keep leveling up. If I get knocked out a hundred times, I’ll still come back stronger. There are no tough fights in Pakistan. You don’t get opportunities again and again. And here (in Dubai) you’re actually getting good money. If they keep offering me fights, I’ll keep fighting. If they offer me a fight two days after this and there’s no issue in weight, I’ll fight again. I’m ready.”

When asked about his first of two potential opponents, Zarka Manu, and how he felt he’ll do against him in the fight, Chandio offered: “He’s a good southpaw fighter. I respect him, he’s done a lot for this sport. He’s a big, strong guy and has more fights than me. My camp has been amazing and we have a great gameplan. This is my first fight under pure muay thai rules and I’m fighting someone who has a lot more experience in muay thai. This is what he’s good at. But I’m ready.”

This correspondent asked him about having to prepare for two fights in the same night, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding the second fight: “It’s tricky but in the end I know I’m going to win. There are, naturally, a lot of questions. I know I’m fighting Zarka Manu. I have a game plan for him. But what about the second fight? You don’t know your second opponent. I’m focused on Zarka Manu and in the hour and a half between fights, we’ll plan for the second fight.”

Having accepted this fight on short notice, facing a considerably more experienced fighter in his first fight and having no certainty about his second fight in the same night, Abdullah is going in with nothing to lose:

“It’s all a risk. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. If I started obsessing over staying undefeated like some Pakistani MMA fighters and some Pakistani boxers, I’d never level up. You have to take risks, move ahead, keep fighting and make a name for yourself. Life goes on, even if you lose.”

Brimming with confidence and displaying maturity beyond his years, Abdullah Chandio will look to cement himself as a world class kickboxer by winning this multi-fight tournament on the 10th of June.

Daniyal Nasir Mirza is a combat sports analyst and show host for On the Mic in Lahore.