Injuries have come to plague another Desert Force event in 2016.
ArabsMMA has learned through sources close to Team Shogun that current Desert Force middleweight champion Mohammad Karaki has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled Desert Force 23 title defense, and will be out of his scheduled Desert Force 23 title fight against Yacine Bandoui.
Desert Force has not yet released any official statement addressing Karaki’s injury, but our sources have confirmed that Karaki is certainly suffering from injury.
“I’m devastated to announce this news but I injured my knee in my training camp in Thailand. ” said Karaki. “Recovery is just 6 weeks with rehabilitation. I should be able to fight and defend my title in September.”
Check out this doctors’ report that states that Karaki has a full thickness tear of the lateral collateral ligament.
The news marks yet another setback for Team Shogun who had Ramy Hamed also pulling out earlier this month due to a similar injury.
Hamed was replaced by Julien Piednoir who will now face Jarrah Al Selawi, but the title fight is definitely scrapped as no one can replace the champion in this case.
As we see it, a good match-up for Bandaoui would be Egyptian Alaa Mansour, who made an impressive appearance at Desert Force 22 in Jordan, knocking out Dridi in a significant fashion to bag the Al Academiya title. Mansour is currently the Al Academiya middleweight champion and is now riding a three win streak under the promotion. An interim title fight would be a great rebound for Desert Force 23 if the promotion can make this happen.
As a result of the cancellation, the “Fakhreddine Vs Al Hajjajy” interim title fight will now headline Desert Force 23 in Lebanon. That fight rightfully deserves to be in the main event.
Stay tuned on ArabsMMA.com for up-to-the-minute updates on Desert Force 23.