Aniss Al Hajjajy, Mhamad Karaki, Haidar Rasheed and Abdel Kareem Al Selwady win the title of the “Desert Force Champion” in 4 different weight categories
Amman, 18th June 2013: Following 4 intense rounds carried out through the past year, the first Arab Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship, Desert Force, concluded in Amman, Jordan with the crowning of 4 fighters of different weight categories, with the title of the first Desert Force MMA Arab Champion.
The Title Holders are as follows:
- Welterweight Category:
Aniss Al Hajjajy from Morocco defeated Amr Wahman from Egypt Via TKO (Punches)-Round 1
- Light Heavyweight Category:
Mhamad Karaki from Lebanon won against Feras Saadeh from Syria Via TKO(Punches)-Round 1
- Lightweight Category:
Haider Rasheed from Jordan beat his Kuwaiti opponent, Ahmed Al Boussairy with a remarkable Rear Naked Choke-Round 1
- Featherweight Category:
The night came to an end with the exhilarating win of the Jordanian Abdel Kareem Al Selwady over his opponent Yousef Al Hamad, from Kuwait in a remarkable KO (Punch) – Round 1
Desert Force fans at the finale, were surprised by the attendance of several of the Arab world’s favorite celebrities, who flew in to Amman from different parts of the region to cheer for all 16 fighters and witness the crowning of the Arabs’ First MMA Champion. The celebrities present were: Jordanian singer Diana Karazon , Egyptian Actor Ahmad Tohamy, Syrian actor Mehyar Khaddour, Jordanian singers Hani Metwassi and Youssef Arafat, celebrity personal trainer Nour Khattab, in addition to the World Champion in “Kick Boxing” for 5 years, Riyad Al Azzawi.
Prior to the finale of the Desert Force MMA Championship, a press conference was held by MBC Action, in partnership with X-Management LLC, the parent company of the region’s leading Mixed Martial Arts Organization, Desert Force. The conference, which also hosted the ‘Weigh-ins’ of the Finale was attended by the 8 fighters from different weight categories along with their trainers, mentors and medical crew.
On this occasion, the fighters unanimously agreed and stressed on the importance of their participation at the region’s first MMA Championship ever. In their eyes, the Championship is seen as a move towards setting up professional MMA unions in the region which are needed to house all the skilled, but hidden talents in the Middle East which will ultimately help in increasing the awareness of MMA as a sport among Arabs and allow them to take it to international standards.
Commenting on the Finale, Mohamed Mirza, Desert Force CEO congratulated all the fighters who have managed to reach the Finale, and said, “Having reached the Finale of the first Arab MMA Championship, there is still a lot to offer in terms of fine-tuning this exceptional sport in the Middle East and take it out to International standards. Having said this, the Desert Force team is working on a new concept in the Arab World – a Reality TV Show under the name of “Desert Force Academy” which will act as the platform for training amateur MMA fans and turning them into professional and well qualified MMA fighters. Our fans will be exceptionally delighted at what’s coming!”
The press conference also unveiled the names of the 2 main trainers and mentors who will be accompanying these fighters on their specialized MMA journey in the Academy. The coaches are Mohamed Fakhreddine from Lebanon and Hashem Arkhagha from Jordan.
It is worth noting that Desert Force MMA Championship was first launched back in 2010 in Amman, Jordan. In 2011, Desert Force launched the “Elimination Series”, a single-elimination tournament for Arab MMA fighters competing to become the first regional MMA title belt holders in 5 respective weight classes.
The Championship has hosted 4 rounds during the past year. Fighters from across the Middle East have competed in 5 weight classes, namely Featherweights, Lightweights, Welterweights, Middleweights and Light-Heavyweights; each class enforcing the United Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Participating countries at the Second Round included: KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Desert Force MMA Championship FINALE will be aired on MBC Action on Monday, 24th June at 7 PM GMT and 10 PM KSA.