Varun Dhawan: Would've taken to MMA in childhood had I known of it
Varun attends fighting championship in Abu Dhabi after being invited by UFC president Dana White
I hardly take vacations, so these 32 hours were like a small holiday for me," begins Varun Dhawan, who returned to the bay from Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The actor — a mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast — was invited as special guest of UFC 242 by Dana White, president, Ultimate Fighting Championship. "It was such a huge honour for me to attend the event," says the actor excitedly, hours after he watched Khabib Nurmagomedov defeat Dustin Poirier to continue his unbeaten streak at the championship.
It's interesting to see the role reversal as Dhawan — who enjoys massive popularity in India — turns into a fan boy when talking about his love for the combat sport. "I have been a big fan of MMA since the last few years. While in Abu Dhabi, Dana and I spoke extensively about our love for the combat sport. Dana is a cool guy. He made sure that I got the best seats right next to Khabib's family. It was such a thrilling night!"
Varun Dhawan with Dana White
Such is his love for the combat sport that earlier this year, Dhawan spent his birthday in Thailand, picking up MMA skills at a local training school. Agreeing that the sport is still at a nascent stage in India, the actor is hopeful that it will find takers in the near future. "I am sure we have many MMA hopefuls in India. The sport demands intense preparation right from childhood. Had I known of the sport in my childhood, I would have trained in it. Dana is keen to have a champion from India."
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