As promised, ArabsMMA continues its investigation in Desert Force 13’s middleweight headliner. We have scoured for information and had all parties give us their side of the events. After reporting Abdallah Abou Hamdan’s account of the story earlier, followed by what the champ had to add, we now reach out to Desert Force’s own managing director Mohammed Mirza to hear Desert Force’s statement on the issue.
The Middleweight Title bout between Sawi vs Abou Hamdan was a great fight for the fans of Desert Force. It did end up with some controversy due to claims that arose following the fight.
To clear matters, what happened prior to this Bout is as follows:
Ibrahim El Sawi was stranded in airports from August 22nd until August 24th which is the day of the weigh-in. Sawi did not undergo the regular weight-cut procedure that all MMA athletes under go. Moreover, he had travel and entry permit complications that stranded him in airports for 3 days which is something that is not his fault, nor Abou Hamdan’s, nor Desert Force’s and is out of all our control. On the other hand, Abou Hamdan was the first Desert Force athlete to arrive in the UAE, on August 21st, giving him ample time to get over jet-lag and go through the process of weight-cut adequately.
This led to Sawi not weighing-in at the specified time and he just arrived to the hotel as the weigh-ins were starting.
Knowing this, Abou Hamdan talked to Desert Force officials and reached a conclusion that he would fight given Sawi wouldn’t exceed 92kgs the following morning.
For Abdallah’s positive outlook and for being a true professional and saving the title fight for the Desert Force fans, Desert Force agreed to compensate Abdallah with a full purse independent of win or loss; which is far higher than industry standards of a certain percentage of the opponent’s purse.
Abdallah along with his agent, Chuck Wichert from United S.E.G. MMA Management, SET and CONFIRMED these terms with Desert Force officials.
On fight day Sawi weighed-in at 91.5kgs in witness of Abou Hamdan’s camp and the fight remained on.
No one from Desert Force, or on behalf of Desert Force, obligated Abou Hamdan at any given time or date to take this fight.
Both athletes are exemplary MMA practitioners and exciting fighters for the Desert Force fans. They were both unlucky in the lead-up to this specific fight, however, being the athletes they are, they threw all that out of the window and put on a fantastic fan-adoring battle.
Desert Force is currently the only organization touring in the region and spreading the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in every major Arab city. We are also in the process of putting regulations in place everywhere we go.
I am glad to announce that we will be supporting an initiative to establish an independent regional commissioning body within the coming few months to further spread MMA in the region as a safe and professional sport.
I thank ArabsMMA for taking the initiative to reach out on this issue; I know you have MMA’s best interest in mind.
Now that you have heard Abou Hamdan, El Sawi, and Desert Force’s side of the story, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below!