In a new feature, ArabsMMA will be analyzing the different Arab MMA combatants and providing our readers with a complete fighter breakdown. To kick off the new feature, we will be taking a look at the two fighters who will feature in this years most anticipated 84 KG Title Fight in the Desert Force Promotion between Hashem Arkhagha and Mohammad Fakhreddine. This week, Yousef will be taking a look at Hashem Arkhagha. For all you Fakhreddine fans, not to worry he will be in next weeks addition.
Without any further ado, over to Yousef.
What’s up fight fans!? Hope you all had a good summer and that you’re freshened up and looking forward to some exciting MMA events taking place in our area this year! Desert Force will be holding an event sometime in September we believe and another one in December and ADFC will be looking to put on a barn burning ADFC 4 sometime towards the end of this year as well to mention but a few. To kick off this feature, I took a look at both Hashem Arkhagha and Mohammad Fakhreddine who will be facing off this December in the former’s first title defense. This promises to be a sick fight between two tough guys that have put together some of the most memorable fights in the Desert Force promotion. This week, we take a look at the Arsenal of skills that “Cavaca” brings with him.
Hashem has an impeccable 4-0-0 professional record, winning two of his fights via TKO’s and 2 via submission in a total fight time of 18 Minutes and 55 Seconds. In that time, he has displayed a range of boxing, grappling and jiujitsu skills that have made him a fan favorite. Not only does he have one of the highest ratio’s of submissions attempted per minute, he also throws a respectable amount of strikes when standing and trading with his opponent. Lets take a closer look at what makes this fighter tick.
Hashem developed his boxing skills under the tutelage of the legendary Jordanian standout Abu Khadija and carries the traditional boxing stance with him into the cage. An orthodox puncher, he stands with his arms relaxed, elbows down and in, hands up and chin down. His left shoulder is only slightly turned towards his opponent allowing it to cover most of his upper torso area. He holds his left arm out so that his lead jab can come out quicker and giving his opponent less time to defend it. A good example of this can be seen in his fight against Abu Naim, Hashem comes out and uses his left jab to feel out Abu Naim and try to establish his range early on for when he wants to unload his stronger right.
His right power hand is usually cheek high and protects his head from left hooks. You will usually see him unload it after a jab either as an overhand or as a hook. This strategy worked well for him in his fight against Dawansy where he effectively used the left jab to close the distance and set up the overhand right before going for the clinch.
In fact, that appears to be Hashem’s modus operandi; left jab, strong right, clinch, take down attempt. So far, it has worked very well for him against both Dawansy and Salama. Especiallly when facing strong strikers like Salama, Hashem will attempt to take the fight to the mat as fast as he can where can exert his dominance. He has to be careful however not to fall into the trap of chasing opponents and allowing them to counter like he did against Abu Naim. On several occasions in that fight, Abu Naim (who was moving backwards during the fight to stop Hashem from initiating the clinch) threw a strong left hook after Hashem would throw his left jab in anticipation of the overhand right which would leave Hashem’s chin exposed. Against a boxer of Fakhreddine’s caliber, Hashem will have to either recover his right fast or become less predictable with his punching sequence.
Hashem so far has attempted 191 strikes in his 4 fight career (all of which were punches, he has thrown zero leg strikes), giving him an average of 10 strikes per minute.
This is Hashem’s bread and butter and exactly where he likes the fight to go! When he needs to bring the fight to the mat, he mostly relies on clinch takedowns where he will usually try to trip his opponents (although he has dragged Salama to the ground and took down Sawi with a double leg). His trips have been very effective so far as he has managed to land it with every attempt. In fact, Hashem has a remarkable record of 7 takedown attempts with a 100% success rate.
Hashem has used the trip to tremendous effect against Dawansy, Sawi and Salama. Check out the Vid’s below, after initiating the clinch, he will hold his opponent in his grip and use their momentum to trip them to the mat. In the 2nd round against Sawi, he cleverly waited for an opening to go for the double leg takedown since the Egyptian was avoiding getting too close for Hashem to initiate the clinch.
Once the fight is on the mat, Hashem will begin hunting for the submissions! He has attempted 9 submissions in his fights so far (5 alone against Salama), giving him an average of 1 submission attempt every two minutes.
If he lands on top in half-guard or full-guard you will see Hashem posture up and deliver a flurry of hammer fists and elbows, the former of which usually land quite accurately and deliver a tremendous amount of damage (see his KO against Sawi). Hashem will also use his ground and pound from the top to encourage his opponent to leave his limbs out for submission attempts. In his fight against Salama and indeed against Sawi, he GnP’ed his opponent and grabbed the opportunity to grab their arm when it presented itself.
If Hashem lands with the opponent in his guard, then he will work his way into submission attempts. See his finish against Dawansy and his attempt against Salama, he will slowly work his upper torso to move slightly upwards to allow him to have enough leverage to reach his legs above his opponents shoulders.
One thing is for sure, on the ground, Hashem is lethal!
Best chance of success
Hashem should play to his strengths in his title defense and look to take this fight to the ground. Although his boxing skills are formidable, he will be facing a fighter with faster and stronger hands in Fakhreddine. Abu Naim used a successful strategy against “Cavaca” only to fall short after Hashem initiated the clinch. Fakhreddine will look to keep Hashem in boxing range which means it is vitally important for Hashem to close the distance fast and go for the takedown as fast as he can.
Fakhreddine is vicious when on the ground and does not stop throwing bombs (as displayed in his fight against Suleiman), so it will be important for Hashem not to forget his defense and to work patiently for the submission.
His opponent has not gone past the first round in his 4 fights so we cannot judge what his stamina is like. What we do know is that Fakhreddine will probably come out swinging and look to finish the fight in the shortest amount of time possible meaning it will be key for Hashem to use his ground game to wear down Fakhreddine slowly and wait for him to over commit a limb before striking.