Entering the Desert Force tournament as an underdog at the light heavyweight (93 KG) division, no one expected Mohammad “O Lutador” Karaki to make it past the first fight in this manner. Despite several beating and trail of blood, Karaki surprised everyone by surpassing all the obstacles and making it the entire mile to become the Desert Force light heavyweight champion.
For those who watched Karaki’s fights, his performance became better and better until he showed his best performance in his last fight, fighting for the title and defeating Feras Saada, gold medalist in the Arab Muay Thai Championship, by a dominant TKO in the first round.
Karaki’s fight tonight will be against Hossein Mollamehdi in the middle weight (84 KG) division. However, surely, after almost a year since his last performance, the Karaki that will enter the cage promises to be a more developed and better rounded. A brown belt in Brazilian jujitsu, Karaki has made use of the time at hand and took his striking skills to the next level. In an interview with his Muay Thai coach, Ali Makhzoum, he revealed that Karaki’s skills are now “KO” good. Makhzoum gives a brief about some history behind the famous Shogun team, the team and club that is very well known for producing some of the most entertaining fighters on Desert Force, the most notable of which are Mohammad Karaki, Mohammad Ghorabi and Mohammad Fakhreddine (Who is now with Tiger Muay Thai). He also says that he is very familiar with “Champions Club” where Amir Mehdi, Karaki’s opponent in Desert Force 13 on August 25, fights under.
“Mehdi trains with “Champions Club” and Amir is well known in Dubai, but Karaki trains in team Shogun headed by Master Sami Kiblawi who is not just a legend, but the pioneer of Muay Thai in most of Arab countries. He (Master Kiblawi) is the Icon of Muay Thai in the area. We are talking about Shogun Club, 34 years in the industry of producing striking fighters and lately mixed martial arts fighters. We (Shogun and Champions Club) already met with champions club in Dubai in a striking (K1) competition and I think they (Champions Club) know us well. I can promise Mehdi that the fight won’t finish via decision,Karaki will finish his fight by KO, TKO or submission.”
Through the conversation, Makhzoum also shares the story of how he met with Desert Force middle weight fighter Tarek Suleiman and became responsible for his striking training development for his fight with Mahmoud Salama on August 25 as well.
“I first met with Tarek after his fight with Fakherddine, having coached Fakhro. After the fight, I discover that Tarek is a nice person, not as he appeared on social media. Then I saw him in all Desert Force events and we became friends. Tarek and his manager, Philip Sabbagh, contacted me after his last fight with Medjedoub and wanted to start training. So, after many months of working together and sparring with other fighters, I became the coach responsible for Tarek and I will be on his corner on Monday beside another corner-man from “Tiger Muay Thai Gym” Thailand who Tarek is going to fight under. He’s already been training there for many months in their camp and preparing for the fight with Mahmoud Salama who is a good striker. But, I think Tarek is a complete fighter who can fight on the ground as well as standing up. I promise Salama will face a strong striker.”
Makhzoum is a seasoned Muay Thai coach and one of the best Muay Thai fighters in the region. His training is evident in all Shogun fighters’ performances. We will surely see some improved striking from both Karaki and Suleiman in their next fight.