In just twelve minutes, it was over.

After his Sept. 30 smash-hit Muay Thai debut, University of Waterloo student Gagan Saini emerged from the ring victorious.

“It went better than I [had] imagined it to go,” Saini told Imprint.

Marking his one-year anniversary at the Team Kawai Muay Thai Gym, the fourth-year psychology undergrad took a unanimous win over opponent, Dean Sowben.

Both C-Class fighters, each had fought less than three matches apiece.

Yet, in just three rounds of two minutes each, the novice fighters held their own.

In the first, Saini held back, carefully observing the tactic of his opponent while delivering a series of painful kicks.

“Second round, after realizing my leg kicks were super effective, I turned it up a notch,” he said.

Noticed that his opponent was losing steam in the final round, Saini “upped the pressure: and, with just ten seconds left, he knocked Sowben to the ground for a count of eight and claimed credit for the match.

Albeit a brief fight, Saini’s preparation process was anything but, his training for this particular instance having begun in early August.

Beyond his next match, the novice has big ambitions.

“My bigger goal is to go into UFC,” said Saini. “But.. I realized, instead of just joining a mixed martial arts gym, [that] I want to master one of the martial arts first, and then move onto others, instead of just getting a broad skill set in all of them..”

With a background in wrestling and an interest in Brazilian Jujitsu, Saini hopes to move forward to become a well-rounded fighter.

“I want to master each of [the martial arts] one at a time,” he said.

Of his first official victory, Saini was delighted and wished to pay homage specifically to coaches Chris Prince and Momo Kawai, who continue to assist in Saini’s success.

“I actually feel like my dreams are coming into reality..”


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