Win or lose, Tarek Suleiman, has always looked impressive in his fights. The thing about a fighter like Suleiman is that you can feel his passion for the sport and his thirst for constant improvement, willing to do whatever it takes to improve his game skills and take them to the next level.
Suleiman looked very technical in his last fight against Abdel Mejedoub, but he lost due to a sudden knee injury that stopped him from continuing the bout. Suleiman explains how he has recovered since then and gives us inside details of how he has enhanced his training to become even more well-rounded fighter:
“My knee is 100% ready. We have done a lot of work on improving the surrounding muscles, making the legs way stronger and explosive. I have been training a lot. According to my doctor and coaches, I’m fully recovered and absolutely ready.”
Suleiman’s S&C (Strength and conditioning) coach, Andrew Wood, added:
“Tarek’s knee is looking as strong as ever. The guys back in Lebanon did a fantastic job before I took over to finish his rehab. Over the weeks we have seen vast improvements in Tarek’s strength both on bi-lateral and uni-lateral exercises. Also, his power has improved ten folds ! We have worked his knee through every plane of movement to ensure that it is strong no matter what situation the knee is in. We will continue to build on this as we continue to build Tarek as an all-round MMA athlete.”
In his training, Suleiman credits a lot of people and explains how he has changed things up in his training regimen since his fight last October, saying:
“Since my injury happened, last October (2013), I have worked with Dr. Tarek Gherbal to improve my hips adjustment and my ankle strength. It was a good time to improve my punching power and striking skills and, of course, my home gym, Manic Factory Gym, was there for all kinds of the support for me to stay sharp and strong. My training camp had a couple of improvements and I had better scheduling and programing for my S&C with coach Andrew Wood. My BJJ level has also improved a lot after working intensively with Professor Fernando Maccachero. Nothing really different, just more improvement. The knee was a motivation ! I was so obsessed on getting better and jumping back into competing, so, I consider it as a good gap to have worked on my weakness.”
As mentioned before, Suleiman has a tough upcoming fight against Mahmoud Salama who is known to throw heavy leather with devastating results. It was important to know what Tarek thinks of his opponent and how he would devise a game-plan for such a strong athlete.
“He is a decent MuayThai fighter with heavy hands, and he can take a punch. However, my striking skills have improved way too much and I think, now, I’m ready to finish any striker on the feet thanks to coach Aly Makhzoum. He was with me for most of this year, working on my muaythai. I continued by coming here to Tiger MuayThai, training with amazing striking trainers such as Lai, Don and Roger. I improved the combination of grappling, striking and movement in general. I’m really confident of my striking and punching power and I guess you guys will enjoy my come-back.”
Finally, it was important to have Suleiman’s opinion regarding another major middle weight fight taking place in the same Desert Force event. Suleiman gave us his opinion about Ibrahim El Sawi vs Abdullah Abu Hamdan fighting for the Desert Force middle weight title and answered to the question of whom he would rather face as a good match-up after his own fight with Salama.
“Interesting match-up. I think that Abu Hamdan has an edge over El Sawi since he is more experienced, more well-rounded and a good striker. However, not to forget El Sawi’spower ! I think it’s gonna be a war.I’m hoping both are conditioned well for the fight so we can watch thee full rounds of war.”
In response to whom he would rather face, Suleiman said:
“My answer is really simple. I trust my team and the people I’m training with so I will fight anyone, anywhere. Whatever desert force gives me I will take it.”