Proud Oldham fighter Haider aims to become UFC champion

Date published: 15 June 2024

An Oldham Mixed Martial Arts fighter, who recently became the Full Contact Contender (FCC) middleweight world champion, has set his sights on becoming world UFC champion.

Haider Khan, who is 25, was born and raised in Glodwick.

He studied Politics and International Relations at university and started to train in MMA at the age of 18.

He has mastered Kickboxing, Jujitsu, boxing and wrestling.

He said: “Growing up in Glodwick was good.

"The sense of community was unique.

"We all knew each other, and it was nice to have a supportive community.

“My childhood experience of living in Glodwick involved playing on the streets with my cousins and friends.

"Then we moved to Coppice.

“As a professional I have won eight fights and lost one.

"In my latest fight I faced a Brazilian and I defeated him in the second round to claim the middleweight title.

“I fight in the Full Contact Contender league which is funded by UFC Fight Pass.”

In total he has had 16 fights and won silver at the European level and is a world bronze medallist.

In a couple of months after his next fight he hopes to start fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Haider added: “As an MMA fighter people think I would look up to the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the first martial artist I loved is George St-Piere who was known as the ‘Perfect Fight Machine’ and was the welterweight world champion and then won the middleweight world title too.

"He is one of my favourite fighters.

“I feel like you go through phases in your life where you rely on your religion especially on the fighting scene.

"If you have strong faith in God you know you’re not truly alone.

“Whether you win or lose you know there is more to life.

"I have a family at home and I see them every day.

"I just enjoy the process and I don’t look into things too deeply.

“My faith keeps me grounded and it helps me to see things clearly as there is more to life than fighting,” the Manchester Metropolitan university graduate said.

Haider added: “My message to young people is to pursue something you love, and it doesn’t have to be sports.

"When you truly love something, it is easier to get out of bed and pursue your dreams.

“Being a professional fighter has been hard.

"It doesn’t have the glory that people think.”

Haider trains every day of the week.

On a daily basis he trains three times including grappling sessions and fitness training.

He is the first British-Pakistani champion in the world of MMA, but his ambition is to win the world UFC title.

He said he wants to inspire and help people and that MMA is a difficult sport but like anything in life there are ups and downs.

Proud dad Wajid said: “Haider has had a few setbacks but he always comes back stronger.

“I support Haider by taking him to training and providing him with emotional support and advice.

"He talks to me about his difficulties and how to improve his training.

“The goal is for him to become UFC world champion.

"We will achieve it together.

"In one year, he will hopefully be established in the UFC, it won’t be easy but everybody has to start somewhere.

“I’m really proud of him and I pray that he achieves his goal.

"May God keep him safe.”

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