Desert Force 15 is set to take place in Abu Dhabi on February 9 with a much anticipated match up pitting Syrian Tarek Suleiman Vs Brazilian/American Christopher Silva. Both fighters had been spotted in Thailand and shared a training session at Tiger Muay Thai when Silva was on a training camp prior to Desert Force 13.
ArabsMMA recently got the chance to talk to Christopher Silva and Tarek Suleiman as they shared their thoughts on their upcoming fight.
1-Thank you Tarek for sharing your views with us. Chris Silva fought once at Desert Force against a tough Abdelali Aityachou and you also saw him train in Thailand. What did you think about his game?
Well…. he is a black belt, all the respect to his belt and ground game. However, this is not a BJJ match. From what I saw in his fight in DF, he has good control and balance on top of a non-grappler. And honestly I didn’t see much when he visited us in Thailand.
2- When asked about your specialty Silva said that he didn’t see any. What do you have to say about that?
Ha ha it means I’m well rounded and specialized in all areas in MMA. He couldn’t find out what is my specialty, so he couldn’t find a gap then?!
3- Christopher Silva mentioned the now famous quote: “He is not a Thai Muay Thai fighter and no he is not Roger Huerta”. Your comments on this please.
Well currently I’m living and training in Thailand, and the Thai style is known to be the worst stand-up style to use in MMA, but I use what is good from the Thai style. I train Muay Thai of course, and I can’t go to any fight without doing it with all the respect to the Thai people and Thai culture. But yeah, living in Thailand doesn’t make me Thai but it makes me a better athlete, more focused on my career and more focused on training.
He came here for a short period to use the training environment whereas I live in this environment, so I think he is saying good things so far.
Concerning Roger Huerta, training with my mentor and idol of course doesn’t make me him but it makes me a new hungry fighter and a well rounded one. I’m learning from experience that he gained in over two decades of doing MMA. To me I’m being a better Tarek Suleiman, yoou’ll see a new version of me coming soon because of Roger Huerta.
Roger trains Tarek to become a hungry animal inside the cage not to become Roger Huerta which is the smartest thing to do. Plus living in Thailand gives me the chance to train with amazing talent such as my team mates Mairbek Taisomuv who is preparing for UFC fight night, Arbi Agujev an awesome talented beast from chechenia. I guess I will never find such a freak athlete and amazing grapplers to train with non to mention the rest of the team. That’s what living in Thailand means
4- With the welterweight title being vacant, do you think you deserve a shot after you win this one? Or do you prefer another fight to test your body ?
I’m hungry to fight, the weight is not an issue I’m in fight camp all year round I just slow or speed my training up accordingly. I’m ready to take any opportunity – a title or non title fight I will take it, on the other hand I would like to fight for a title next.
5- Fighting in Dubai the first time, we saw a different Suleiman, but luck was not on your side. Your second fight in Abu Dhabi proved that you are a force to be reckoned with. What should we expect from Suleiman when he enters the cage at DF 15 in Abu Dhabi this February?
The last time I fought in Abu Dhabi, I was looking to make a point and I finished the fight via TKO. My Dubai Fight against Medjdoub ended up in a torn ligament in my knee, while I had to fight for two rounds using only one leg.
I have been evolving and learning everyday here at Tiger Muay Thai Thailand with the amazing coaches such as our Professor 5th Degree Black Belt Fernando Maccachero, my Mentor and Brother Roger Huerta, my S&C coach Andrew Wood, wrestling coach George Hickman, the new addition coach James Mcsweeney, and our Thai trainer Don. Not to forget my coaches in Lebanon who proved they are the best through (Mohammad Karaki) such as Aly Makhzoum and John Haddad. All the knowledge I’m getting is indescribable to make me better fighter each time I step into the Desert Force cage.