Karate Combat

President Awesome and Rio Altaie talk Karate Combat 45 ‘I want to go all over the Middle East’

Karate Combat 45

As Karate Combat 45 approaches, President Asim Zaidi, affectionately known as “President Awesome,” joined renowned MMA commentator and podcaster Rio Altaie for a revealing episode on the “Rio Drive” podcast. Karate Combat has been creating substantial buzz in the combat sports landscape, particularly within the Middle East, and this meeting was a timely spotlight on the organization’s ambitions and strategic direction.

During their conversation, President Zaidi articulated the void Karate Combat aims to fill—a global platform for karate practitioners to exhibit their prowess, akin to the UFC’s role within mixed martial arts. With a martial arts lineage that began under his father’s guidance at age three, Zaidi brings a deep personal and professional commitment to Karate Combat’s mission.

A focal point of their discussion was the organization’s pioneering approach to event presentation, notably its adoption of “the pit.” This innovative fighting arena is designed to enhance visibility and audience engagement, departing from the traditional use of rings or cages.

Adding to the excitement, Rio Altaie, whose commentary has enriched martial arts broadcasting across the Arab world, will continue to provide his expertise for Karate Combat events, beginning with the upcoming tournament in Dubai. Joining him on set, MMA fighter Tarek Suleiman and Zahi Phram from ArabsMMA, forming a commentary team rich in knowledge and regional insight.

The conversation also revealed plans for multiple events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia underscoring Karate Combat’s dedication to its Middle Eastern audience. Zaidi expressed a personal connection to the region and his enthusiasm for integrating local talent into these high-profile events, ensuring that fighters from the UAE and nearby areas have opportunities to shine on a global stage.

Karate Combat 45, set to take place on April 20th, promises thrilling matches with names like Luke Rockhold, Joe Schilling, Craig Jones and others.


Tickets are available now, and enthusiasts can use promo code ARABSMMA10 for a special discount.

For an in-depth look at this exclusive interview and more details on the upcoming event, check out the full interview.


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Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. He has been an avid follower of these sports since 2005. Tim has also covered the UFC, Bellator and GLORY Kickboxing events live and in-person.

Tim also works with a host of other media sites such as Calf Kick Sports, Sportskeeda MMA, Low Kick MMA, Vecht Sport Info, Fighters First, and Beyond Kickboxing. Tim is is the authority on kickboxing and MMA journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.

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