The UFC has added to its featherweight roster by signing 25 year old Alan Omer. Omer will be making history in his April fight in UFC Abu Dhabi being the first Kurdish/ Iraqi born fighter to ever step into the octagon. ArabsMMA team had the chance to sit down and chat with Alan Omer about this historic moment.
1. You have worked so hard to reach this vital point, how do you feel to be the first fighter to represent Kurdistan in the UFC?
I feel great about being the first Kurdish fighter in the UFC. It means a lot and is a big honor for me. We Kurds have never
been recognized anywhere, so it is a big step for all to have one of us competing for the biggest martial arts organization in the world.
2. Becoming a fighter in the UFC means a new challenge for you. What will change now?
Competing in the UFC is another level of fighting. In order to be successful on this stage, you need to change your whole
lifestyle. I’ve already had a long career with many ups and downs that have prepared me for this moment. Now I will give my utmost to make as much as an impact on the big stage as possible!
3. Will you be adapting new strategies and training methods?
Of course! I have learned a lot from my past mistakes in the and I’m already adapting new training methods. I’m surrounding
myself with the best people possible, training with black belts, top-level wrestlers and professional boxers. On April 11 we will
Inshallah see the results.
4. With your return after being laid out due to health problems, what is your aim for the year 2014?
5. Is there any specific vision or goal that you have implemented?
My goal is simple: Just going into the Octagon and winning my fights. Hopefully I can also inspire and motivate other people
from Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East to reach their goals, no matter how hard it seems to be.
6. We know that your Iraq is one of the best in combat sports among its Arab peers, where do you see the country potentials in MMA?
I haven’t seen any MMA Gym in Iraq yet. But the overall potential is great! We have a lot of young people in Iraq who like combat
sports. It would be great to see another Iraqi fighter in the UFC. I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time until there is. Rami Aziz has
just signed with Desert Force and if he keeps improving at the current rate, he’ll be there in a few years, too!
7. What is your thought on MMA in the Arab world in general and about the organizations operating there such as Desert Force, GFC, etc.?
I have been following Desert Force for a while now and I have to say that I am quite impressed how professional they work.
I would also have loved to fight for Desert Force if the UFC didn’t ring on my door.
8. How does it feel to be fighting for the first time on Arab soil?
I’ve been looking to make this happen for the last three years and I’m overwhelmed with joy it is finally happening. I have fought all
across Europe and it’s really about time I get to show my skills to the Arab fans. It will feel great to have the home field advantage and
I am extra motivated to put on a good showing!
9. Do you have any specific Arab fighter that you like?
The one and only Prince Naseem Hamid. I’m also enjoying Badr Hari’s fights.
10. Anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for allowing me to become a professional fighter, my team and my management for supporting me through thick and thin as well as my sponsors Booster Fightgear, Powerbody Supplements, and Tapout Middle East.