Every year more and more Arab talent seem to be discovered by our authors at ArabsMMA.com. This time all the way from London, we met Amir Albazi, an Iraqi born fighter who looks to shine on the Arab MMA scene as one of the best latents in the region.
1- Amir, kindly tell our Arab audience a little bit about yourself?
My name is Amir Albazi, born in Baghdad, Iraq 1993, moved to Sweden when I was 7 with my family until they left my older brother and I at an age of 15. After I graduated Stockholm Sport High School I relocated to England, London, where my family lives right now.
2- What got you into Martial Arts? What did you start with? When did you get into Jiu Jitsu?
I was 14 years old and if I remember correctly it was after I saw a UFC event as a teenager. I was so impressed in how there were so many different techniques and styles. I was familiar with boxing, kick boxing and of course the famous K-1 tournament but as I said earlier the UFC got me hooked instantly. There was something different about the sport besides just the tournament, which made me Google MMA in Stockholm and look for the cheapest (hahaha) and nearest club. I started out practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Brasa Stockholm, which currently is Fightzone Stockholm. At a young age I also realized my potential through the family I was surrounded with in the club due to their support and encouragement even though I was very young and many times I didn’t have a partner in my size.
3- Who is your inspiration as a fighter?
I have my mother whom I look up to and get inspired by through her dedication off hard work without complaining. The day someone outrun her dedicated hard work I will change my inspiration source, which I am sure will never happen because my mother is what makes me whom I am and where I have gotten.
4- Who is your favorite fighter?
I never had a favorite fighter because I like diversity and different styles in different situations. But I do like, respect, and appreciate George St. Pierre’s character in and outside the octagon. He is humble, which is very important to me but also dedicated to charity work for at risk youth and all children alike, which I also truly believe in, to give back to society. The respect he has towards fighters, media and management, that’s what for me is a professional fighter and role model for other fighters out there.
5- What was your toughest fight so far?
To be honest I have competed in over 400 fights so to remember one specific tough fight is impossible. Specially when I have been in several finals and won titles like World Champion and European Champion. Those fights are always the toughest once. I would also add that it is tougher mentally than physically in those cases.
6- How many medals do you have?
I have gotten that question on several occasion and I have told myself to actually count them one day so I can give an answer and unfortunately I cant give you an answer now because I haven’t counted them yet because they are being shipped from Sweden to England at this moment. But as I mentioned before I have competed in over 400 fights and if you want a number I can tell you that I remember that I am 5 times World Champion, 6 times European Champion, 4 times Scandinavian Champion, and 8 Swedish Champion in all three different styles BJJ, Submission Wrestling Gi/No-Gi, and MMA. Once again I want to thank my family in the previous club Fightzone Stockholm, without them I wouldn’t have gotten all the big titles.
7- What title are you the most proud of?
That would be when I became the World Champion (Blue Belt) in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Los Angeles, U.S. I will never forget that feeling, I was on a different planet at that time and it continued for two week where I walked around smiling and just thinking about that accomplishment.
8- Do you participate as an Iraqi? Have you been invited to international events? How do you feel about that?
I am born in Iraq, which I am proud now and forever. I am representing Iraq in everyday life. With that said I would also want to add that I moved to Sweden when I was 7 years old and lived there up until I was 20. I have friends, family, co-workers, professors, trainers, and so on that made me feel home in Sweden during the time I grew from a kid to a teenager. Therefore, Sweden is my country and home also which I have represented in tournaments as I have also represented Iraq in Abu Dhabi World Pro Cup where I won 2 Bronze medals. Even though I did not spend most of my life in Iraq I was proud and felt honored to represent Iraq. Let me also add that it is a huge privilege to be able to represent not just one but two countries that I share my love for in different ways.
9- When is your nearest competition? How are you preparing for that?
As of right now I am focusing 100% on MMA, training with different top-level coaches and fighters whom are active in the UFC and Bellator to sharpen my weaknesses but also strengthen my strengths. I am very happy to be surrounded by a team at London Shootfighters Academy that have many successful well established fighters and trainers. To mention a few fighters in my club: Claudio Henrique, Karlos Vemola, and John Hathaway, and Michael Page. So far I can only tell you that I know there are a couple of tournaments/competitions coming up but I cannot answer if I will compete in them or not.
10- Have you competed in MMA?
Yes, I have a professional record of 4-0-0. I was also a former World Champion in the organization World Ultimate Fighting Contact twice back to back in Portugal.
11- Are you familiar with the MMA scene in Iraq?
Just a little bit, and let me also mention that I would feel honored if I received an invitation to participate.
12- What major tournaments are you planning on participating in?
Unfortunately I cannot make any comments about it due to my solely focus on training and preparation for future tournaments. I have handed over all the administrative work to the management, my agent Amin Lemrini, and of course taking into consideration my coaches advice at London Shootfighters Academy. As soon as the team behind me confirms a fight an official announcement will be made.
13- What do you think about the future of Jiu Jitsu and MMA in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East?
I believe that the UAE will be the Eastern side of top level MMA attracting professional fighter form around the world whom have an interest in establishing a career in UAE. The Middle East is growing slowly and is becoming more and more established. The fighters from the Middle East have another type off style, hunger and warrior mentality I believe. It will be fun to follow the development throughout the years and I also hope for a World Tournament later on where the top-level fighters from East and West fight each other like in World Cup Football.
14- Would you like to Thank anyone?
First and for most I want to thank God for the opportunities I have been given. The success, mentality, and strength to continue chasing my dreams. I also want to give blessings and huge thanks to my dear family Fightzone Stockholm whom I started my journey with as a young teenager, I also want to thank them for believing in me, and I once again want to say that without their support I would be where I am today. Thanks to my new team at London Shootfighers that are the new family I have who is helping me to get to the next level of making me a better fighter in and outside the cage. The wisdom, inspiration, coaching and personal advice I received from everyone at the club cannot be bought with money, it is more than just fighting. I truly feel welcomed, trusted and home at London Shootfighters. And of course last but not least my agent Amin Lemrini, and my older brother Omid whom I share this journey with every day.