Yazan Ghattas, the First Referee to Hold the Purple Belt in the Middle East

Yazan congrats for the promotion to BJJ purple belt, you are the first referee to hold the purple belt in the Middle East.


First of all what motivated you to open Makhai gym?

Many things motivated me, I was first a bodybuilder, just lifting weights without any skills had some injuries from lifting weights like knee injury, others stuff like that make me down. They reduce your confidence and without any skills after all of this I went to team Mirza academy to discover what is Jiu Jitsu and what it focused on. Then i trained jiujitsu more and more, I worked so hard on it ….after this I wanna say when I was a bodybuilder and I really cared about how huge I am or how can I build big muscles to show off then I realized that Jiu Jitsu and MMA don’t care about how big you are or how strong you are. It’s just about having techniques, in other words, if you have just one technique you can use that and it’s enough. I once heard a phrase that says “Do not fear people who have a million techniques, fear people who have one technique and use it million times” so i asked my coaches (Zaid Mirza, Zaid Abu Saoud , Ashraf Shishani, Jahed ) to open an MMA gym that I am gonna do that and they will be a big part of this I don’t care whether I own this gym or silly things like that, I care about my family, Mirza team, so there we go!

Who trains at your gym?

My gym has a lot of fighters that have a huge place in Desert Force like Thabet Agha (Al Batal ), Hamzah Nafush the winner against Ahmed Amir in the last event of Desert Force, Anzawer who fought in Desert Force “Al Academiya”, and Ali Hadi from Iraq who won his first fight in Desert Force “Al Academiya”.

Who are the coaches that help around?

There are really pretty good coaches in my gym like coach Ashraf Shishani as an MMA head coach, Zaid Granduke trains the beginners Jiu Jitsu, Zaid Granduke is a purple belt Jiu Jitsu, he studies the techniques, works hard on it and teaches his student with perfect way so they can understand it …. coach Ashraf one of the best coaches I saw on the middle east he trains a lot of an smart techniques like types of neck crank submissions it’s really interesting techniques! He loves to break people’s neck.


How does having a purple belt help you in reffing?

It makes my job real easy I know where I need to be in the cage to see what’s going on. It’s important u know when they are going to tap. Sometimes u just see two bodies, but as a purple u can see better and anticipate what going to happen and when to stop the fight

Who has helped you in being a referee?

There are too many people who have helped me, like coach Zaid Mirza, Ashraf Shishani, and Zaid Abu Soud. I was a Vaseline guy, I did some little things to the fighters then i asked Team Mirza to be a referee, they loved the idea so coach Ashraf had me watch a lot of videos and taught me how to apply it with no mistakes, how to do the stoppage and other reffing stuff. I entered the cage and the audience was screaming and mentioned my name Yazan Yazan ! so there were 2 thousands people waiting for do my job people wait for some little mistake I will do. But there we go, I did it perfectly from working really hard, and taking what I do seriously!

I saw your gym offers on Facebook about cutting weight and the offer said “try the cross-fit and u will see the difference, or else I will give your money back”

Yeah! That’s right. I am realy confident about what i said in it, but if you do that then eat tons of choclate i will not give your money back, thats your mistake 🙂

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