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MMA, Kumite 1 and Chicken Biryani: How Mike Tyson graced India

The 52-year-old boxing icon was in Mumbai to promote Kumite 1, a MMA event.

SNS | New Delhi |

Controversial pugilist Mike Tyson delighted scores of Indian boxing fans with his brief, yet memorable visit to Bombay to promote Kumite 1, a mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament, but it appears that the 52-year-old took back a great many things too. 

According to celebrity bodyguard Shera, who shadowed him throughout the duration of his India trip, the former heavyweight champion took an affinity to a distinct Mughlai dish.

“He seemed to admire the culture, cuisine and hospitality of the country. His favourite dish was chicken biryani and he did manage to take home a sherwani,” Shera revealed.

Tyson, who infamously bit off the ear of Evander Holyfield during their bout, also visited Dharavi, Asia biggest slum and the Taj Mahal during his whirlwind tour of India.

“Though he visited Dharavi and Taj Mahal, he didn’t indulge in any popular touristy activities as such.”

Over the course of his chequered career which began in 1985, Tyson won 50 bouts (44 via KOs), lost six times while two were no contests.

Nicknamed Iron Mike, Kid Dynamite and The Baddest Man on the Planet, Tyson at his peak was a terrifying figure in the heavyweight scene and only greats like Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis truly got the better of him.

Tyson lamented boxing’s decline at the Kumite 1 press conference, citing a lack of big personalities as the reason behind the sport’s dwindling popularity.

In stark contrast, MMA has seen the rise of many household names such as Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The American stressed that he didn’t mean just in-fight ability, but the all the stuff that goes about setting the hype for an event.

McGregor and Nurmangomedov go head-to-head on October 6 at UFC 229 for the Lightweight championship in one of the most highly-anticipated clashes in MMA history.

(with inputs from IANS)