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Desert Force GP Finals Fighters’ Report Card

Ali Naemi vs. Abdulahad Abdul-Majeed
Ali Naemi
Naemi will be disappointed with his performance. Although he displayed his striking skills much more in this fight, the rest of his performance left much to be desired. A skilled wrestler, he failed to take down Abdulahad with the Saudi actually taking him to the ground on a few occasions but Naemi couldn’t capitalize on the rare opportunities when they were on the canvas. He came out strong in the third round, but his initial burst was short lived as he seemed lost for ideas.

Overall a good show of heart, but Naemi knows he can perform better.

Abdulahad Abdul-Majeed
The 17 year old Saudi put on quite a show for a debutant! Although he didn’t quite deliver on the KO he had promised beforehand, Abdulahad repeatedly stuffed the takedown attempts of Naemi and played a very clever counter striking game and keeping the bulky wrestler at distance using his jabs and low kicks. He took Naemi down when it suited him but was careful not to get into a ground scramble which would certainly favour the Qatari. He also withstood Naemi assault at the beginning of the 3rd round to grind out the decision win.
Tarek Suleiman vs. Mohammad Sarsar
Tarek Suleiman
What a way to bounce back from a KO lose! Suleiman came in looking much fitter than he did in his last fight and put on a great show! He wasted no time taking Sarsar to the ground where he manhandled his opponent at will. He secured what looked to be a lethal Kimura in under one minute before switching to side control and then full mount where he delivered some vicious elbows and it wasn’t long before Suleiman had taken Sarsar’s back and applied the rear naked choke.

Suleiman’s power and pace was something to behold! Relentless from start to finish, Suleiman came out and delivered arguably his best performance at Desert Force.

Mohammad Sarsar
We don’t mean to be harsh with Sarsar’s grade and fully acknowledge that he deserves a lot of respect for taking this fight on such short notice against a fighter who had been preparing for the better part of 2 months. We also have to mention that he withstood a nasty looking Kimura when most people would have tapped a lot earlier. But overall he fought to survive with one choke attempt his notable offensive weapon.
Mahmoud Salama Vs. Abdallah Abou Hamdan
Mahmoud Salama
Salama always guarantees a good show and he delivered here. Countering Hamdan’s leg kick with a three strike combination, he also cleverly survived an arm bar attempt by the Lebanese fighter and a dangerous looking choke at the end of round 1.

Although the Egyptian continued fighting despite twice being rocked by a Hamdan punch that floored him, the repeated take down attempts, chokes, hold and strikes took their toll on the aging fighter and the fight was stopped after Salama couldn’t answer the bell of the third round.

Abdallah Abou Hamdan
The Lebanese fighter impressed yet again in Desert Force. A cerebral fighter, he cleverly used his takedowns and strikes to tire Salama and kept up the pressure throughout their exchanges. He twice knocked out Salama from punches and didn’t allow the Egyptian any room to catch his breath in what was a relentless showing! Fight of the night: this had it all! Striking, knockdowns, takedowns, reversals, chokes and armbars. Wow!

Mohammad Abdul-Kareem vs. Amin Nacheb
Amin Nacheb
The Tunisian certainly had the audience behind him in this match up and started the match positively by throwing a number of punches and knees from the clinch. Amin even took down Abdul-Kareem and attempted to grab an arm before switching to side control and then half guard from where he unloaded a barrage of strikes. The Tunisian’s game plan seemed to be working a treat until the Egyptian roll Amin into an armbar from absolutely nothing.

Harsh on the Tunisian, but proof that in MMA you cant take your eye off the ball even for a second.
Mohammad Abdul-Kareem
This chap really surprised us. From the start of the fight till the last 10 seconds it looked as if he was going to have a rough evening as the Tunisian fighter threw the entire box of tricks at him. The Egyptian kept his cool and out of nothing, really out of nothing, used his opponents movement to roll into an armbar and secure the submission win.

Good performance and a textbook example of “keeping calm” Submission of the night! Imagine getting pounded by a 120 KG guy? Then rolling and putting your own 120 KG’s on his elbow… Yeah. It was that awesome!
Aniss Al Hajjajy vs. Amr Wahman
Aniss Al Hajjajy
Aniss walked in like a man with a purpose! To take the Desert Force shield regardless of who or what was in front of him! He was the aggressor in the fight and right away looked for the take down to put Amr on the mat. Despite two stuffed takedown attempts, Aniss patiently waited for the opportunity and got it after Amr had thrown a kick which he used to put the Egyptian against the cage and then on the ground, a feat that Gabriel Tayeh couldn’t achieve.

Once on the ground Aniss demonstrated exactly what a BJJ Jiu Jitsu Back Belt can do but giving Amr little opportunity to escape. After taking Amr’s back he relentlessly pounded the Egyptian head before the ref stopped the fight.

A calm and calculated performance by the Moroccan!
Amr Wahman
Wahmann will be disappointed that he couldn’t keep the fight standing a little bit longer. The beginning of the end started when Amr threw a quick that the Moroccan caught which began a series of events that ended with Amr ending up on the ground. As soon as the fight went to the ground Amr fought and attempted to get the fight standing again but there was little he could do against a BJJ practitioner of Aniss’ caliber.
Mhamad Karaki vs. Feras Saada
Mhamad Karaki
This was the best we have seen Mohammad Karaki. From start to finish, he executed his game plan to perfection. As soon as the bell rang Karaki was on top of Saada dragging him to the ground. From there it was a clinical Jiu Jitsu display. He effortlessly switched from guard to side control to full mount and unloaded a barrage of strikes that caused the referee to stop the fight before Karaki could inflict more damage. After Suleiman, Karaki’s performance was the most dominating of the evening.
Feras Saada
Saada and his fans will be extremely disappointed with this result. Some of them might argue that the ref stopped the fight a bit early but Feras was not defending himself smartly and offered little to no resistance.

Saada could not keep the fight standing for more than 20 seconds and there was little he could do once the fight got to the ground. Exactly why he didn’t defend himself intelligently on the ground is up to debate but Karaki’s strikes either took their toll or he was lost for ideas.

Saada and his fans know he can do better and we can’t wait to see him again in the ring soon.
Ahmad Al Bossairy vs. Haider Racheed
Ahmad Al Bossairy
Bossairy who had impressed all of the Desert Force community with his last performance made one crucial mistake here tonight, throwing the leg kick without setting it up with strikes beforehand, something that Bas Rutten had mentioned off record to ArabsMMA when we discussed this fight with him. Unfortunately he did not implement this strategy which resulted in Haider taking him down and setting up the submission with relative ease.
Haider Racheed
Dominant performance from a fighter who had something to prove! Many fans were questioning whether Haider should be in the final after his less than stellar performance against Arti, but the Jordanian answered his doubters with a bang!

He came out strong, set up the takedown and pushed the fight from the opening bell despite two injuries to his leg that he had sustained over the last three weeks.
Abdulkareem El Selwady vs. Yousef al Hamad

Yousef al Hamad
Some might be surprised with Yousef’s rating, but the fighter stuck to his guns and executed his game plan extremely well until THAT punch.

Hamad came out calm waiting for Selwady to overcomit and jump on any mistake by the young Jordanian who was forced to close the distance given the large height difference. Yousef kept Selwady at a distance by using his high and low kicks and when given the opportunity took Selwady to the ground and had him in his guard before attempting an armbar that Selwady escaped.

Yousef will be back soon enough, but tonight he drew the shorter straw.
Abdulkareem El Selwady
Fantastic performance by the youngest desert force debutant and champion. Selwady came in an underdog and walked out having won over the Desert Force crowd and any doubters that remain. This young gun has firmly established himself as one of the Arab fighters to watch in 2013!

Selwady came out and had a game plan that involved absorbing a few strikes from Hamad to close the distance and strike when given the opportunity. He escaped an armbar from the Gracie Black Belt before KO’ing the Kuwaiti after following up a superman punch with a vicious left swing of his fist and then delivering two unanswered blows when Yousef was on the ground (it reminded us of the Henderson vs. Bisping KO). A great performance from Selwady who will has proven many doubters that heart, hard work and belief in yourself can upset any odds. Knockout of the night!

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