Following the completion of it’s first season, Al Batal will return this fall for Al Batal Season 2 featuring a completely revamped format. Algerian Mehdi Baghdad will coach the Yellow Team in the upcoming season of Al Batal, opposite American coach Ray Elbe heading the black team. Baghdad is a former Muay Thai world champion with an illustrious MMA career. He trains with team quest which is an esteemed establishment since it has graduated world-class fighters such as Dan Henderson and Tarec Saffiedine in Temecula Florida. Not only has he been crowned Muay Thai world champion, he has also earned the title of K1 champion in Belgium and France.
How you think Al Batal Season 2 is different than the previous one?
Everything has evolved since Season 1, and the show is completely revamped. It’s obvious that ISEE is working on improving the show, and that is why they assigned Ray Elbe and myself as coaches. The coaches this time are very professional, my team as well as the opposing team. I hope fans will feel the difference too between the first season and this one. The second part is the fighters. The show includes fighters from Arab countries, France, Spain, Canada, and many more, it’s more international this time. The show is very different this time, I can’t wait to share that with Al Batal fans.
How is being a coach, as opposed to being a fighter, a positive aspect for you?
First of all, this is a very good step for me to become better known in Arab countries and in the Middle East. It felt good to be a coach, I met very nice people and professional fighters. The fact that the fighters are young made me feel like a big brother to them. It was a new experience to listen to their concerns, teach them, and share my knowledge with them. I’m that you will spot these fighters in the biggest organizations very soon.
Tell us about your experience working with ISEE management?
Ohhh, there are a lot of things to tell about that (LOL) seriously, my experience with ISEE management was like a boss and an employee, sometimes they match, at other times they don’t. I got the opportunity to meet professional people specially in my field of work (fighting). But to be honest, sometimes, I had to scream a little bit (a little bit too much maybe) to be listened to. It was my role. I fought as much as I can for my team! In the end, they are very professional, and I wish they would always work as hard to make the newer seasons more intense.
What are your thoughts on the level of fighters?
The fighters in general were very competent. Ray Elbe had one guy on his team I like a lot. And on my team, I had very good guys as well. I wish them the best for their future, and I will confess, some of them have become friends now and I’m trying to help them compete in pro fights. You will witness very good skills in the cage, wrestlers against JiuJitsuka, strikers versus tactical guys.
What does the Arab World lack to become bigger on the MMA map?
Al Batal will do a great job in showing the rest of the world the skills of Arab fighters. Al Batal and ADFC (a brand I like a lot) are just the first step, I wish to see these fighters compete in the UFC. After all, the arab world has become a large scene for MMA events, UFC Abu Dhabi, ADFC and many more. My dream right now is to fight for a belt in an arab country.
What should fans expect to see in Al Batal Season 2?
This reality show will be huge! They will see stories, big fights, they will see fighters with a strong mind, personality, etc. all on AL BATAL SEASON 2 !!!
I would like to thank ArabsMMA for the contributions to MMA in the arab world, for their big support to the fighters, and for the appreciation they give me. I hope people will like the show as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.