Was that a fitting finale to a great debut season of Al Batal or what?! After 13 episodes filled with tales of intrigue, blood, sweat and tears and countless fights we have our first ever Batal – step forward Thabet Agha.
It is hard to argue that this Combat Sambo warrior didn’t deserve the title. After TKO’ing, submitting and decisioning his way through 4 tough fights we can look back at a combatant who started strong and maintained a furious pace from start to finish. Thabet is by no means the strongest fighter, but he certainly is the most cerebral fighter quick to spot opportunities and adapting his game plan as he sees fit even during the three rounds.
After dispatching Hesham Hiba by TKO and avenging the loss of his close friend Saif Narmouq by defeating Mostafa Al Shammary, Thabet faced the Egyptian Ahmed Amir in the semi finals, winning by submission and setting up a final all of us wanted to see against his close friend and strongest competitor, Georges Eid!
Georges of course impressed many during his stay in the show and arguably developed into one of the most likeable guys with his almost constant good mood and cheerful nature (bar the spat he had with Mostafa in the car with Chawki acting as the peace maker). Like Thabet, he also fought his way through three tough fights to put himself into the final, going the distance in each one of his rounds. He first fought Saad Tadlaoui in what was a contender for Fight of the Season! Although the latter fought with a foot injury, he showed a tremendous will to win by continuously striking and counter striking and trying to keep the fight standing where he had the advantage. Georges took the decision win but the marks on his face definitely showed how hard he fought for it. He then went on to face Houdhaifa Gdouda and Tarik Benaamini to book his spot against Thabet.
The two fighters developed a close friendship over the course of the show, although they were both happy for one another to reach the final, you could sense that they would much rather be facing someone else.
The stage was set for a dramatic finale. Both fighters walked to the cage for the firs time not cornered by the other ready to unleash and take the title!
The first round opened somewhat tepidly, with both Georges and Thabet trying to suss the other one out and waiting for them to commit. After a short break to check on an injury the fight sprang to life with both fighters trading low kicks and punches. After one of Georges low kicks Thabet grabbed the opportunity and dropped Georges to the ground. Georges did extremely well to limit the damage Thabet could do despite the latter spending over 2 minutes on top delivering sporadic punches to the bloodied face of Georges. At the end of the 1st round, Georges began looking tired and a bit worse for wear.
This trend continued over the next two rounds with Thabet seemingly taking Georges down at will and delivering strikes when he could. Georges played a very clever defensive game on the ground albeit would have wanted to deliver more offensively but Thabet seemed to have figured out a very shrewd game plan that worked to a tee.
The two best fighters made it to the final, but to use Sawsan’s words, there can only be one winner and one BATAL , and that person is Thabet!
A big congratulations to Thabet for winning the title and to Georges, Michel, Adel, Mostafa,
Ahmed, Tarik, Chawki, Nacer, Hesham, Saif, Said, Saad and HOudhaifa for putting on a
great show from everyone here at ArabsMMA.com!