When Lebanon’s Mohammed Fakhreddine was announced to headline the first installment of Brave Combat Federation ( Brave CF 1: The Beginning ) back in September 2016, he was touted as one of the hottest Arab prospects to hit the promotion.
But after being forced to withdraw from that fight due to a sudden knee injury, the hype behind this signing diminished and was followed by a rise of criticism.
On Friday March 31, Fakhreddine will be back in the cage, fresh, and with a relaxed attitude, co-headlining Brave 4: Unstoppable.
Brave 4: Unstoppable takes place at IPIC Arena, Abu Dhabi. The event is headlined by a featherweight title fight between Algerian Elias Boudegzdame and Masio Fullen of Mexico.
Speaking with ArabsMMA in the days ahead of the fight, Fakhreddine (8-1 MMA) cut a much more relaxed figure than we’ve seen ahead of previous events. The reason for his calm confidence, he explained, comes from very positive training camp ahead of this fight.
Fakhreddine has been getting ready for this battle in Thailand. He joined Tiger Muay Thai camp, and is closely training with MMA fighter Tarek Suleiman, a close friend of his.
“I needed to be in a professional environment, but also around positive people,” he explained. “Tiger Muay Thai has a lot training partners my size, and my homie Tarek Suleiman takes my business more serious than his own . We will silence all the doubters.”
Needless to say, Fakhreddine roams in a division packed with powerful athletes, but he says these types of challenges bring the very best out of him on fight night.
“ Iv’e got so much more energy for this fight. I can feel it. I want that winning pay check and it brings joy to my heart that I’ll be getting my chance after a long wait.”
Fakhreddine may have suffered a setback with this injury, but “ The Latest “ has flipped the negative into a positive, explaining that the slowing of his momentum has lifted some of the expectation and pressure from his shoulders heading into this this event.
“Definitely there’s a lot of pressure off,” he admitted. “I think I felt the most pressure last time I was set to headline Brave CF 1. I was representing a whole nation, not just myself and my body was not helping. Now, am actually mentally and physically 100%. My knee is as good as new and my soul wants this war more than ever.
Fakhreddine takes on the dangerous finisher Marcus Vinicius “ THUNDER “ Cruz (8-1-1 MMA), whose career has seen 6 of his 8 professional wins come by way of stoppage. “Thunder” poses a serious challenge to Fakhreddine coming into this fight with a 5 win streak. Yet Fakhreddine says he’s ready to kick-start his Brave debut with a stoppage win.
“He’s a dangerous opponent – a big hitter, kicks hard, punches hard but not as hard as me,” he said. “It’s a great challenge. I’m looking to get in there and attack. For me , Marcus Vinicius is my ticket to the Brave Combat Federation Belt. When I win this one, am almost certain they will offer me a title fight.