The ‘Pride of Palestine’ Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady is ready for the big stage. With Brave having already introduced a featherweight, welterweight and light heavyweight champion, he hopes they will introduce the lightweight title through him.
One of the most popular fighters on the roster, the 7-1 lightweight is one of the few fighters that have notched two wins under the banner and feels he is the right guy to introduce the title through.
“I’m hoping not only to fight in November but to have a lightweight title fight there,” Selwady said. “They already got rid of the welterweight, light heavyweight and featherweight titles so the lightweight title has to be on the line and I’m definitely the most qualified lightweight out there.”
“I’m the most qualified lightweight, I don’t care who they put in front of me as long as it’s for the title, I’ll fight for that title and hopefully they have that title fight in November in Bahrain.”
He last competed in Abu Dhabi this past March in a fight where he rallied back to finish Michael Deiga-Scheck in the second round.
The win gave Selwady a lot of momentum which he hoped to carry through into a hometown show in Jordan that never came into fruition.
“I’ve been planning to fight about 4 fights this year,” Selwady explained. “Starting the year with March and I was hoping to fight again in August on the Brazil card and they said if you just wait until September, hopefully we can have an event there in Jordan.”
“Now it looks like there are no shows in September and that’s a really big bummer for me that I’d have to wait from August until November. I don’t have anything confirmed for November either.”
Since March, he has been keeping his weight low, staying in full training camp mode and just waiting for the call. With the next show projected not to happen until November, Selwady has been keeping himself occupied, most recently winning a grappling match in Texas.
“Since I’ve had a break, I started to do professional jiu-jitsu,” Selwady said. “I had my first professional jiu-jitsu match and I finished that submission only match with a rear naked choke. If I’m not doing MMA, I like to do these tournaments to keep me motivated.”
Despite not competing in the cage as of late, Selwady’s name has been in the Brave headlines. The recently victorious Alejandro Martinez called out Selwady, claiming that he hasn’t fought a real lightweight yet.
“The thing is with Alejandro Martinez, he claims his record is 14-1 but on Sherdog it’s like 3-0 I think,” Selwady said on Martinez. “If Brave wants to set that fight as the title fight, I would be more than glad to shut his mouth and take that title home.”
Selwady who moved to Texas and trains at Fortis MMA full time, is confident that his team will propel him to the title and help push him to the next level.
“I actually moved to the US, to Texas just to train with Fortis MMA,” Selwady said. It’s a really tough team and it’s an up and coming team. We have plenty of guys signing with the UFC.”
“I train there with Coach Sayif Saud. Coach Sayif is a very good mentor; he pushes all the group of young, hungry athletes. We all have the same dream and it’s like a family over here. Everyone supports each other and the team is the toughest team in Texas.”
While his dream is to headline Brave’s biggest show yet in November for the lightweight title, Selwady has a plan B in mind and even has a targeted name.
“If Brave wants me to fight another fight before the title fight, I’d like to fight Chris Padilla,” Selwady said. “His nickname is Taco, the one that fought in Mexico. He was the winner of the co-main event and if they want to give me the title shot then whoever, let’s do this.”
The proud Palestinian may not be getting his primary wish of headlining a show in Jordan right now but finds it equally as important to represent his nation on all stages.
“Representing Palestine on the Brave stage or any stage is the biggest responsibility I have. It motivates me to always push harder, always fighting for my people even if I’m tired and I can’t, there’s a bigger reason than myself. It’s for all the Palestinians; it’s for all the Arabs.”
“I represent them and I represent our fight, we all go through a fight and even though mine is hard, it’s the easiest one out of them. They go through so much so this is basically my fight for the nation.”
“To be able to fly the flag high for my nation is exactly how I got my nickname, the “Pride of Palestine”. They’re all proud of me and that’s what makes me even happier and more proud to represent my people.”