With the international mixed martial arts federation officially granting the Kingdom of Bahrain the right to host the fourth edition of the IMMAF world amateur championships this November, this announcement made huge noise in Bahrain and Middle East. Hamza Kooheji, the first MMA super star to come out of Bahrain has shared his thoughts about the meaning and effects of this ground breaking move, as he never thought that his tournament could take place in his home town.
“I would have never thought that the IMMAF world championships could take place in Bahrain, that’s a great step for all the up n coming athletes and the entire sports sector in Bahrain.”
This incredible development is even more shocking considering it will be the first time the event has been held outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
The implications of this are huge for the Kingdom of Bahrain. The event will literally bring fighters from all over the world, with some of the best prospects on the planet battling for worldwide recognition. Not to mention, the aspiring Arab MMA fighters in the middle-east now have a clear goal to aim towards. Get in this tournament and you could prove yourself and change your life.
“Competing in the amateur circuit will mold the athletes and get them ready to fight professionally. It is during that period in a fighter’s career which he can make all the mistakes he wants and learn from it. In your amateur career, no one is counting your fights and results. Not all the champions you see today were undefeated as amateurs.”
Hamza in turn did not have the opportunity to compete as an amateur. MMA at that time was not as popular, and fighters had to take any offer in case they wanted to fight. Despite this fact, Kooheji now holds a professional record of 5 wins and a sole loss.
“When I started. We barely had a small gym and a couple of guys training with us. It was either you compete as pro, or you sit down and wait until something else comes up. I wanted to fight!”
Hamza knows the feeling of competing in the Kingdom very well as 3 of his 5 wins were in Bahrain. His latest battle was at Brave 2 “Dynasty” the Bahrain based mixed martial arts global promotion.
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