With arguably one of the most unorthodox fighting styles in the region, Ahmed “SHADOW” Labban has paved his way up the ranks in the Arab world of mixed martial arts through consistently delivering back to back jaw dropping performances.
What makes Labban so interesting and entertaining to watch is that his style is difficult to figure out. For those who watch him closely, they can notice a combination of styles, most evidently a mixture between kickboxing and taekwondo. Labban has his own way of explaining this style though, crediting his coaches and the type of training he is receiving at UK’s London Shootfighters.
“I started out in kickboxing, competing in kickboxing light-contact tournaments. It helped me understand the point system approach to fighting. I took it to the next level by trying to make it effective in terms of the damage I can inflict on my opponents. Coach Alexis Demetriades at London Shootfighters assisted me in finding the approach that is best suitable for my style, the one I am most comfortable using. They don’t try to change you into something or someone else.”
Through combining explosive strikes and athletic kicks with a timing that is difficult for his opponents to anticipate, Labban has an always improving stand-up arsenal that is enough to take any challenger out.
As Labban admits, he is still working on improving his style, which many have found similar to that of his training partner, Michael “Venom” Page, the top international welterweight fighter now competing under the Bellator banner.
“I met Michael “Venom” Page in London. As you know, he has his own very unique style of fighting. Through sparring with him, under the supervision of Coach Alexis, as well as the likes of Alfie Davis (who has fought under Phoenix and Bellator) has helped me adjust my style a lot. This style of fighting is why I defeat my opponents. I confuse them and attack in a way they don;t understand. Of course, I couldn’t do that without my training partners, who share a similar style which pushes me to sharpen my skills and seek new approach to attack.”
Labban’s next appearance will once again be at Phoenix Fighting Championship, but competing in mixed martial arts this time, though he enjoys competing in Muay Thai as well. He is thankful that Phoenix Fighting Championship offers both these martial arts.
“I’m very excited to get back in the cage after such a long time. I never stopped training through this period and I’ve worked hard to keep improving daily until the opportunity came my way”.
This time, Labban will be facing an even higher level of challenge in Mehdi Ramezani, with hopes of working his way up to become a truly recognized international fighter. Watch Ahmed “The Shadow” Labban on the 22nd of December in Dubai at Phoenix Fighting Championship 4.