One of the well-known people within the MMA scene in Saudi Arabia Mostafa Rashed Neda, born and raised in Saudi. This well rounded individual of Egyptian origin has not only worked hard to achieve many championships on the national and international level, but also to create and train his own team – MMA Jeddah.
Arabsmma spoke to Mostafa, who might be fighting in the next Desert Force in Saudi Arabia, to hear his story and what it’s been like creating MMA in the Kingdom.
Rashed started training at the age of 12 years in Shaolin Kung Fu and then turned his attention to Wushu. He competed in many championships on national and international level and won numerous. Due to a knee injury during his university days however he switched into boxing.
“I met an American Jiu Jitsu coach in the Azhar University in Egypt back in the college days. He got me into BJJ, and basically the mixing took off from there”.
“Mixed Martial Arts only really started to spread to the K.S.A in the past five years” continues Mostafa.
“When I got back to the K.S.A after college, I was excited to spread MMA in Jeddah because I was convinced that it was the best martial art”.
He took initiative to get involved and gain recognition by entering and winning the first MMA tournament that took place in the K.S.A. He also went on to win various tournaments in JiuJitsu and in kickboxing.
Shortly after Rashed was noticed for his talents and was asked to join the Golds Gym, Jeddah Saudi. He took the opportunity the following year to equip a private gym, Jeddah MMA, which has grown recognition in the local area as one of the best. Currently the gym holds champions in Jiu Jitsu and Kung Fu fighting both on the national and international level.
“I predict that we will soon have an international team including such fighters as Sob7y a world champion in Kung Fu, Khaled Malky, Mohamad Al Azany who recently participated in Al Academiya, Saff who substituted for Feysal, Amjad as well as Khaled Jouhayny who participated in Al Batal and many more”.
Mostafa was asked to fight in the Desert Force cage after competing as an amateur fighter in Cage Warriors in the light heavyweight division, and winning via armbar submission in the first round.
“Mohamad Mirza asked me to join Desert Force but I had a hip injury at the time so I wasn’t able to participate. Now I am ready and have written to Mirza informing him of my readiness and hopefully you will see me in the next”.
Rashed is also hoping to get a chance to register some of the good fighters from Facon team into the upcoming Desert force bouts.
When asked about what he thinks about fighters from Saudi who have competed in Desert force
“Saudi fighters who have participated have been excellent but from what I have seen, they are either masters in striking or in grappling not both, but I guess they are filling in the gaps”.
To conclude the interview, Rashed had one message to those in training in Saudi:
“Spread the news and train well, because Arab fighters are strong – all they need is some real training and hopefully desert force will graduate the perfect fighters”.