As promised, ArabsMMA continues its investigation into the middleweight main-card fight of Desert Force 13. Ibrahim El-Sawi came into the cage with a clear weight advantage beyond the middle weight class and hence was Abou Hamdan’s comment on the fight and its validity being a title match and quote ‘…is it right to award a heavyweight a middleweight title…?’ But let’s take a breather here and ask, is it really so uncommon? Dramatic weight cutting has become a staple of the MMA scene since as long as we can remember. UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman filled in to fight Demian Maia at UFC 168 and told reporters then he dropped 15kgs in 10 days. Many fighters look to participate at a lower weight division for a height/reach advantage for his striking game and a heavy body for his grappling game plan. We’ve reported Abdallah Abou Hamdan’s account of the story earlier and now the champ had this to add when interviewed yesterday.
“…When I first arrived to the airport, I weighed at 86 kg. Thirty minutes in the sauna and I would’ve easily made weight. I arrived at the airport at 3 am and was stuck there with visa and entry issues till 11am. I got to the weigh-ins late at 4pm the day before the fight! Then I had my first meal at around 7pm.
Abdallah asked that my weight wouldn’t exceed 92kg on fight night and indeed I weighed in at 91 or 91.5 the next day. I didn’t even check his weight to be honest.
It’s not really my problem, in his article he gave me all due credit and I respect him a lot. If he has problems with Desert Force, let him solve it with Desert Force.”
Looking back to Abou Hamdan’s scandal claim though, granted El-Sawi did walk into the cage a heavy weight and yes, he came out as the middleweight champion.
Adallah Abou Hamdan’s Earlier Facebook post:
It’s not really a precedence and we’re looking to get the promoter’s side of the story definitely! But we do want to shed the light on something here. Not just El-Sawi, but two other fighters had visa entry issues and one, Mohammad Hassan of ETT,wasn’t allowed into the country and was replaced on the undercard with Muhamed Isaev. Desert Force 14 is rumored to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and they are just as stringent with immigration issues there, which begs the question: Will we be seeing the same case this December? Is AbuDhabi a lesson-learnt and maybe have the fighters arrive two days ahead of the weigh-ins next time or will Al-Academiya finale miss a couple fights or witness short-notice replacements?