After a long and hard to road, full of blood, sweat and tears to pick the final 16 fighters to enter the Desert Force Al Academiya 2 house, it’s now challenge and quarter final fights time for our fighters.
Aziz Julaidan’s green team won in the first challenge, not only the bragging rights for the time being, but also the much important fight picks that had the Lebanese Georges Bardawil matched up against Youness Al Wakili from Morocco at 61 KG and Andrew Tarraf from Lebanon against Hussein Salem from Iraq at 66 KG.
Younes Al Wakili (Team Julaidan) Vs Georges Bardawil (Team Selwady)
In the first fight between Younes and Bardawil, many strikes were thrown by the Lebanese. Although Younes didn’t throw much, his strikes seemed to be landing more accurately. However, the first round seemed to be going very well for Bardawil who was controlling the cage most of the time.
In the second round, the tide started turning in Younes’ favor little by little as Younes landed a successful take-down and a few good strikes due to Bardawil’s lack of movement. Round two seemed to be a long round with little action from the two and a lot of stalling.
The third and final round was a little more action packed, with Younes landing two take-downs and doing little work off his back. Still, the fight looked too close to call.
The decision was finally in and was scored as a split decision for Younes, 28-27, promoting him to the semi-finals and one step closer to the Al Academiya Season 2, 61 KG winner.
Andrew Tarraf (Team Selwady) Vs Hussein Salem (Team Julaidan)
The second fight had Bardawil’s Tristar Gym Lebanon team-mate, Andrew Tarraf, matched up against a huge favorite, Hussein Salem, who previously fought for the 66 KG Desert Force title.
In the first round, Tarraf shocked everyone by making easy work of Salem by exposing Salem’s take-down weakness, taking him down, mounting him, controlling him and delivering several strikes to damage him.
However, in the second round, Tarraf made the mistake of sticking to the same game plan of trying to take down, with Salem defending and controlling the fight in all aspects. Salem was warned for a couple of illegal low blows delivered to Tarraf in the second round and had a point deducted from him in the third round for doing the same, but, he still controlled the fight with effective striking and aggression, making Tarraf look desperate and out of options near the end of the fight.
The results came in with a unanimous decision victory for Salem, even with a deducted point in the third round, making it 2-0 for Julaidan’s green team.
Congratulations to the green team for this week. We were able to see two good fights on the show, but don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night and watch more fights!