Perhaps the biggest rivalry that we’ve recently had in the Middle East MMA scene is the bad-blood between Brave Combat Federation welterweight contenders Mohammad Fakhreddine and Tahar Hadbi. After several back and forth bad mouthing accompanied by social media attacks reciprocated by the two, the fight opportunity finally presented itself in last year’s “Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions” event that took place in Bahrain.
Having been the most highly anticipated fight on the card, Fakhreddine, Hadbi, and their fans were expecting a spectacular fight that could potentially be an opener to a couple more to come in the future. Instead, and to everyone’s surprise, the match was forced to be ruled as a No-Contest after only a round and a half of action due to an accidental knee to the groin blow that Hadbi landed straight to Fakhreddine, leaving him in agony and unable to continue.
As a result, the bout’s lack of closure split the opinion amongst the fighters and even their fans. However, on a really good note, we’re going to get the opportunity to see these two back at it once again at Brave 10 in Jordan.
Sharing his thoughts about the potential rematch, Hadbi isn’t expecting to be presented by anything much that is surprising in the next fight from one of the region’s most dangerous welterweights. Building up on what he sensed from first match, Hadbi claims that he will again be able to confidently handle anything that Fakhreddine attempts to dish out with ease, having already done so in the first match without even exposing his real game plan in the contest.
“The rematch will be similar to the first fight. No one really saw my game plan. Everyone just saw that I can block everything Fakhreddine sent my way.”
A huge factor that Hadbi highlighted was the effective use of the jab that he kept Fakhreddine busy with. The jab did actually land repetitively, and now, having felt Fakhreddine’s power, Hadbi is optimistic of using it to overwhelm Fakhreddine, keep him neutralized and grab the W in the next fight.
“I was comfortable fighting him the first time and I will be more comfortable in March. I thought he was more powerful, but now I know he can’t touch me. Look at the damage I did by using only my jab.”
Watch the fight again here: