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‘We Are Strong’: Fighter Anita Karim Happy To Inspire Women To Pursue MMA

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Pakistan’s first ever female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Anita Karim received a hero’s reception when she returned home to the beautiful Hunza Valley after securing a major victory at ONE: Warrior Series.

With her first win in two MMA fights, Anita became Pakistan’s first female MMA fighter to get a win overseas in one of the world’s top martial arts promotions, ONE Championship.

Anita Karim Receives Heroes Reception

But what what makes her happier than winning a cage-fight is inspiring other girls to pursue the sport. In her own words, “MMA is a violent and dangerous sport, but women all around the world take part in competitions and I just wanted to show that Pakistani women are just as good as anyone across the world.”

On her reception, Anita told BBC that it was tradition at Hunza. “Whenever a person in Hunza, whether male of female, wins a major competition or makes the region proud, he or she receives the reception of such kind. Everyone dances and celebrates the individuals’ achievement as an achievement of Hunza.”

She said that women had equal opportunities in Hunza to succeed and experiment. “Here in Hunza, women have as much opportunities as men. There is no discrimination. Everyone motivates you to achieve your goals.”

Apart from being called ‘Daughter of Hunza/Pakistan’, she is also known as ‘Bone Collector’. Why? Because she broke the arm of her opponent during a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grappling competition. She applied an armbar on her opponent which resulted in a broken arm.

Karim fights out of Fight Fortress in Islamabad, which was rated as the best MMA gym/training centre in Pakistan by the PakMMA. Coach Ali Sultan was also named coach of the year in Pakistan’s inaugural MMA awards giveaway.


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Naya Daur