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Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady feels he’s the most qualified lightweight on the roster, hopes to fight for the title in November



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.”


Surveillance Video Shows Conor McGregor Smash Phone



In a new video released by TMZ Sports, UFC star is shown knocking a phone down and smashing it in front of the Fountainebleau hotel located in Miami, Florida.

In true McGregor fashion, he followed up the destruction of the phone by doing his famous “billionaire strut.”

McGregor got into an altercation with Ahmed Abdirzak who was following and filming McGregor with his cell phone while McGregor and his entourage were leaving the hotel.

McGregor reportedly extended his hand to offer a hand shake, only to pull it back and smack the phone out of Abdirzak’s hand and proceeding to stomp on it.

After a few stomps, McGregor picks up the phone and walks away. He was later arrested, that same day, and has been charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief, which could land him in prison for up to 6 years.

McGregor has pled not guilty on all charges and is scheduled for trial beginning in May.

Abdirzak filed a lawsuit against McGregor stemming from the incident, but dropped his suit after the two sides worked out a settlement.

Abdirzak was reportedly demanding north of $15,000.

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INTERVIEW: John Kavanagh Talks Brave CF 13 in Belfast, Frans Mlambo’s Title Fight and SBG Ireland



Renowned head coach of SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh has helped put Irish MMA on the map. With his star student and multiple time UFC champion, Conor McGregor taking over the MMA world, the two have opened up unlimited doors for the rest of the team.

Today, Kavanagh is leading some of the younger generation to world title fights and global organisations. On June 9th, one of his promising young fighters, Frans Mlambo will get a shot at gold when he takes on Stephen Loman for the Brave Combat Federation bantamweight title.

The two met back in the promotion’s first ever show in Bahrain when Loman picked up a unanimous decision win over Mlambo. It was a learning experience for the young South African who has picked up 3 straight finishes since. Kavanagh is confident that the former IMMAF world champion, Mlambo has all the tools to become champion.

Also competing on the Brave CF 13 card from SBG Ireland, is Cian Cowley (0-1) who takes on Daniel Olejniczak (2-1-1) and Tommy Martin (6-4) who takes on Wales’ Aidan James (1-0).

I spoke to John Kavanagh on the upcoming Brave CF 13 show, Mlambo’s improvements and the team’s preparation for their upcoming bouts. Check out the interview below.

Farah Hannoun: Brave Combat Federation are making their first trip to Europe, you’ve witnessed the organization’s growth so how excited are you to see them go to Belfast?

John Kavanagh: Brave is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest MMA shows so it’s of course great to have them visit Ireland. However, I would have preferred Dublin because that’s my hometown.

Farah Hannoun: Frans Mlambo is headlining the event, with a record of 5-2, he’s practically grown up in the cage, how proud are to see him turn things around with 3 straight finishes since losing to Loman the first time?

John Kavanagh: He’s earned that title shot with exciting finishes both by submission and KO. He’s finding his way in the cage nicely now.

Photo by Brave CF

Farah Hannoun: What adjustments has Mlambo made since the first fight with Loman? What do you feel like went wrong the first-time round?

John Kavanagh: His grappling was too weak back then. He’s one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen and now his grappling is catching up. Frans is one of the top 135lb fighters in the world.

Farah Hannoun: Cian Cowley is set to make the walk for the second time in his pro career when he takes on Daniel Olejniczak, in light of the legal issues he’s had the misfortune of dealing with, how hard was it for him to put all that aside and focus on the fight?

Photo by Severe MMA

John Kavanagh: Cian is very mature and focused. It’s not a problem for him to block out what’s going on outside.

Farah Hannoun: Also competing from SBG, is Tommy Martin who’s looking to bounce back when he takes on Aidan James, how’s he been looking at the gym and what can we expect from him?

John Kavanagh: Tommy is a technician. Clean striking, one of best doubles on my team and tidy on the ground. His opponent is similar, solid technician. This fight will be very interesting for those who like nice technique.

Farah Hannoun: You’ve played a massive role in the growth of Irish MMA, SBG and Conor McGregor. The impact that you and Conor have had has resulted in a lot of opportunities and a spotlight on the guys at the gym. Does the idea that people have the perception that the SBG guys get “special treatment” or extra opportunities bother you?

John Kavanagh: No, we’ve earned it 😉

Farah Hannoun: You must be really proud, bringing up a talent such as Frans from his IMMAF world champion days to now him getting a title shot at Brave CF, what are your thoughts on Frans as an individual and a fighter?

John Kavanagh: One of few 135lbs in the world with genuine 1 punch KO power. A very good singer and cook too!

Farah Hannoun: You wrote a mega successful book, Win or Learn, which is even a quote that people have been using a lot when competing in MMA. Your best-selling book was even translated to multiple languages and sold internationally which is incredible. Did you expect the book to be so successful when writing it and do you have plans on writing another one someday?

Photo via John Kavanagh Twitter

John Kavanagh: No, I thought maybe my mother would buy a few copies and that’d be it haha. I believe almost 50,000 sold worldwide and talk of a movie adaptation. It’s crazy. Maybe one more book when I’m retired.

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After his impressive finish over Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, Vicente Luque eyeing Darren Till



When Luan Chagas was forced out of his fight versus Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, The UFC called Vicente Luque and he happily accepted.

He stepped in on short notice and took out one of the toughest surging welterweights in Niko Price.

He hurt Price with a counter right before locking in one of his favourite submissions, the D’arce choke. This marked Luque’s 5th win in 6 UFC outings making him one of the brightest young stars in the division.

“I wanted to go out there and have an impressive fight,” Luque said.

“I thought that was very important especially that I was coming off a 4 fight win streak then I had a loss so I wanted to keep that momentum. I think I did that and it definitely puts me back where I was before going after those top 15 guys.”

He now turns his attention to a fellow rising star, Darren Till. Till took out Cowboy Cerrone in the first round last month in Gdansk and Luque feels he would match up well with him.

“I would really like to fight Darren Till,” Luque said. “He’s a great striker and his last fight was really impressive against Cowboy. I’m a striker as well and I would love to test my striking and see who the best striker in the division is.”

Photo by Jeffrey Basinger

And should the UFC decide to go a different direction, Luque would be content fighting anyone in the top 15. With 5 wins and 5 finishes in the division, he feels he’s earned a high ranked opponent or a big name.

“I want a top 15 opponent for sure but if they don’t give me that I’ll be looking for someone with a big name,” Luque said. “Guys like Alan Jouban who already have a name and everybody knows who they are. Those are the guys that I want to be fighting.”

Another name Luque is interested in is Colby Covington who fought on the same card as him. Covington took out former title challenger Demian Maia and proceeded to cut a heavy promo, blasting the Brazilian crowd.

Covington’s harsh and controversial comments towards Brazil didn’t sit well for Luque who sees multiple benefits of fighting him.

“I definitely think that was disrespectful not only to Brazilians but to anybody that watches MMA,” Luque said. “I don’t think that’s the posture of an athlete. I don’t take it personally but I would love to fight him no matter what whether he was disrespectful or not because he’s a top contender.”

The welterweight division is arguably the most talked about division. With rising stars such as Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Mike Perry, Luque feels like his name should be thrown in the mix too.

“I think I’m getting up there and slowly getting my spot. I’m having good fights and I know what I’m capable of and that’s what I’m trying to show. I’m doing my thing and I feel that my fights speak for themselves.”

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