Palestinian fighter Gabriel Tayeh dropped down to lightweight to face Mohammad Arti in a battle of blackbelts at the Desert Force event which took place in Bahrain this March. Yet as the show started, the crowd was surprised to see Gabriel Tayeh facing a new opponent on short notice.
After posting a release from Kuwaiti Sensei Ahmed Alhouli in which he unveiled the reason behind Arti’s absence, ArabsMMA had the chance to listen to the story from the standpoint of Gabriel, and discuss among other things, Gabriel’s future plans and upcoming fights.
1- Great job in your last fight in Bahrain. Your were set to fight Mohammad Arti, what happened for this change of opponents?
Honestly, Arti ran. I was 700 grams overweight after traveling for 20 hours, Desert Force said I would have to pay 30% of my purse for not staying in weight. I accepted these conditions, but he didn’t. What is the difference of 700 grams for a real fighter? Nothing, but he was in his right not to accept. Fortunately the Desert Force found a man with the courage to face me.
2- How did you feel while fighting at 70? Will you stay in this division or go back up to 77 ?
I’ll be in 70 Kg, this is the most appropriate for my weight category.
3- What’s next for you in Desert Force ?
I should fight in the Desert Force event taking place in Lebanon, probably after Ramadan.
4- Will you be competing at the World pro or any tournament soon ?
I will fight in HILL THE FIGHTERS in Brazil on May 1.
5- The champion in your division Haider Rasheed will be traveling to take part of Copa Podio. What are your predictions on this?
Haider is a great fighter and a great friend. The Jordanians are top in BJJ, I think he will represent very well the Arab World.
6- How are things going with your new BJJ school? Are there any arab fighters in it?
My school BJJ is Sul Jiu Jitsu, it is the strongest and traditional in south of Brazil, but I train MMA in BOXER. There are the Lebanese fighters such as Baino Gabriel and Andrew Tannuz who will be fighting soon in Desert Force.
7- Who would you like to face next in your division ?!
I don’t choose any opponent. Desert Force matchmakers set my fights. I don’t fight against anyone, I fight for Palestinian people .