Interview: Mohammad Fakhreddine talks big win in Kazakhstan, potential Brave welterweight title tournament and dream to fight in Brazil
Mohammad Fakhreddine, one of the most accomplished MMA fighters in the Middle East, picked up another finish when he TKO’d Lukasz Witos in the first round at Brave 6 in Kazakhstan.
It was a quick turnaround for Fakhreddine who fought only one month prior to that in Abu Dhabi. He defeated Marcus Vinicius Cruz via doctor stoppage in the second round at Brave 4.
He was originally scheduled to take on Leonardo Mafra but after missing weight by only one pound, Mafra refused to fight him. Brave was able to find Fakhreddine a short notice replacement in Lukasz Witos and he was able to take him out in just one round.
Now 2-0 in Brave, he has established himself as one of the best welterweights in the promotion. Brave matchmaker Yousef Nassar has revealed that Brave is interested in holding a 4 man tournament to crown their first ever welterweight champion. He mentioned the likes of Fakhreddine, Carl Booth and Tahar Hadbi as potential participants in the tournament.
I spoke to Fakhreddine on the potential championship tournament, his short notice win in Kazakhstan and his dream to fight in Brazil. Check it out below.
Sports Rants: Congrats on yet another win, it was a very quick 1 month turnaround, what made you want to take a fight on such short notice?
Fakhreddine: Thank you and yes it was a very fast return to the cage. I wanted to fight and get back in there as fast as possible. I came out of my last fight with no injuries so I called Brave and asked them to get me a fight on the next card and they did so that was a blessing.
Sports Rants: Your original opponent Leonardo Mafra didn’t agree to take the fight after you missed weight by just one pound, how difficult was it for you emotionally to have to go through all this before a fight?
Fakhreddine: About Mafra, I was very upset that he didn’t take the fight with only one pound over. I asked for more time to cut and I paid him 20% of my purse but he still didn’t take it.
The reason why I didn’t make weight is because I thought I would have another run at the scale but I didn’t know we had an hour where we could weigh in as much as we wanted. I thought I would get another 2 hours to cut after the weigh-ins but they had a one hour window for you to weigh in and make weight and during that hour if you don’t make weight then you’ve missed weight.
That’s not an excuse, I still didn’t make weight and that’s my fault and it won’t happen again.
Sports Rants: Did you expect the fight versus Lukasz Witos to go the way it did? How much did you know about him when taking the fight?
Fakhreddine: I guess yeah I expected the fight to go that way. I was ready and very angry because my fight with Mafra didn’t happen so I guess I took my anger out on the wrong person.
Sports Rants: Brave is considering a 4 man welterweight tournament to crown a champion and have thrown names like yourself, Carl Booth and Tahar Hadbi. Have you heard anything about this and what are your thoughts on it?
Fakhreddine: This is the first time I hear about the tournament. I’m ready to do whatever and fight whoever for the right reasons and right numbers. If Brave wants to do a tournament to crown a champ at welterweight I have no problem fighting anyone anytime but for the right number.
Sports Rants: Would you like to fight Mafra next? Are you hoping he’ll be part of the welterweight tournament?
Fakhreddine: If Brave says they want me to fight Mafra next then he’s my next victim.
Sports Rants: Brave is proving to be a truly global promotion, what’s it like getting to fight all over the world and what is your dream country to fight in?
Fakhreddine: It’s an honour and a pleasure to fight for Brave. They have a lot of great fighters and the fact that it’s global, that only makes it better. I love the situation and the trips, it’s always good to visit new places and I’m hoping to fight on the next Brazil card. Brazil is a dream for me to visit and I’m really hoping to fight there.
I also want to thank Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad and Mohamed Shahid and everyone else in Brave for making sure we get to the next level and the matchmaker Yousef Nassar for making sure I fought in Kazakhstan. If it wasn’t for his hard work, I would’ve ended up with no fight.