Fighting inside and outside the cage: Iohtylin Wankhar.
Like all sports, the fight game is not only a physical sport but a mental one as well. Whether you’re male or female, the mindset of being a fighter is a different one. The battle is long and weary. The toll of preparation and consequences of a bout lasts not only on the body but the mind as well. It’s a journey that’s enjoyed and respected by spectators. But for the fighter, it’s one where every step if it’s not a life changing one, it’s a life ending one.
Stepping into this journey is 25 years old Iohtylin Wankhar or ‘Lin’ as her friends call her. Coming from humble origins, she’s the youngest of 3 children. Lin is one of the few female fighters coming out of the state of Meghalaya. She’s fairly young in the sport with 5 years of experience. She holds a record of 3-2 in the amateur scene. Her recent win was in October 22 at the Goa Alpha events- Goa combat 2022. She put in a dominant performance and secured her victory in the first round via rear naked choke.
After a brawl with her cousin, Lyn felt the need to learn how to defend herself. So she sought to learn combat sports. That search led her to joining Happy Red Rooster MMA gym in Shillong. After a short period of training, she started competing in the local grappling tournaments and in MMA to test her skills.
Initially the journey started well for her and she capped a few wins in the amateur level. However, she had to leave fighting for a while because of personal reasons. After returning back to the cage, she was handed her first loss and that demotivated her greatly. The pandemic arrived and that put a hold on all her plans and aspirations.
After the pandemic, she got herself a job. But the emptiness she felt about not being able to do what she wanted had an effect on her. Despite the hustle, she kept on searching and that’s how she ended up in Hillside MMA Gym.
At the moment, Lyn is preparing for her next bout which will be held in Guwahati under the WFC promotion. Regarding her future, she plans to put her focus solely on her amateur career. For the next year, she plans to gain more experience in the amateur level and compete more at the national level.
She’s happy with her hustle and she feels encouraged by the love and support which her community and her peers give her. It’s a hard life every day but she remains steadfast and hopeful, not only for herself but also for women’s MMA in India.