What a twelve months it’s been for The Demolition Man David Khalsa. In April 2017, Khalsa was an amateur lightweight with a 6-1 record; all seven fights having taken place on the purely amateur promotion, Battle Arena. The last bout of his amateur career, a disappointing defeat to Luke Mulhall, relinquishing his title in the process.
Fast forward 365 days and the world is a very different place. Khalsa signed to continental promotion BAMMA in May 2017, taking what the bookies seemed to think was a no-win bout against highly decorated Muay Thai champion and Conor McGregor training partner Cian Cowley. One bookie offered Cowley at 1/10 with Khalsa an amazing 6/1. It took Khalsa less than 3 minutes to show why you should never discount the Kidderminster native, taking barely a scratch as he secured a quick takedown, delivered some brutal elbows before finishing off his opponent with a textbook rear naked choke. A potential star was born.
The promotion sensibly booked Khalsa for three further fights throughout the 12 month contract they gave him. He rewarded them with a hard fought win over Charlie-Boy Howard, suffered the first TKO loss of his whole MMA career against a resurgent Dylan Tuke in Dublin; then whilst he lost a decision against Nathan Rose in his most recent bout at BAMMA 34 in March, he won plaudits from fans and fellow pro’s alike. Khalsa demonstrated huge heart, grit and determination against the protege of UFC Top 5 light heavyweight star Jimi Manuwa.
“They’ve been four tough fights”, said Khalsa. “I’ve been the underdog in all four of them. Some people have told me that BAMMA’s matchmakers must not like me, but I always say if you’re in a promotion like BAMMA you get no easy fights”. Something that rings true looking at his last two bouts. “People seem to bring their a-game when they face me! Tuke went into his fights before and after me bouncing around and got knocked out in both. Against me he came out hands up, professional and sensible and struck like a world champion. As for Rose, the guy showed zero ground game in any of his previous six fights, then tossed me around like a rag doll when we fought. I should take it as a compliment I suppose!”.
What you always get from Khalsa is one hundred percent, something that the fans have picked up on. “It’s been crazy really. My kids love it, my Mrs a bit less so! Wherever we go around the West Midlands people come up to me and chat. I love it though, it’s great hearing people say that they’re entertained as that’s what we’re here to do at the end of the day”.
With his BAMMA contract now expired, what’s next for the featherweight? “My Management are handling that. Ideally I’d like to stay with BAMMA. They’ve treated me really well. I’ve enjoyed every event I’ve been involved in, so I’d like to re-sign with them. That featherweight belt is vacant now that Dan Crawford has gone onto Bellator; first things first though, I want to be back in that winners room getting interviewed by the press after having my hand raised in the cage. If you watch the fights I’ve had since turning a pro you can see the evolution of David Khalsa, I’ve got better in every one. I’m working on a few things already, I went back to work in the gym only a couple of days after the Rose fight, so the next opponent best bring their a-game too as I’m constantly improving”.