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Saudi MMA Fighter Mostafa Nada Set for PFL Challenge in Riyadh

Saudi Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Mostafa Rashed Nada is ready to prove himself to his fans and family members during his upcoming fight in Riyadh, ahead of the second fight card of the PFL MENA’s debut season.

“People may think competing in your own country is easy. But actually, I feel less pressure when I fight abroad,” Nada said.

“When I’m competing in Saudi Arabia, I put more pressure on myself. When I’m in the Kingdom, I have to tell myself to fight as if I am competing somewhere else. I try not think about my family, my friends, and my students who are in the audience watching me,” he added.

The second fight card of PFL MENA’s debut season is set to take place on July 12 at The Green Halls in Saudi Arabia’s capital city. The event will feature fighters in the Welterweight and Lightweight divisions competing in the patented PFL Playoff win and advance format.

Nada is set to go head-to-head against Algerian fighter Abdel Rahmane Driai in a showcase welterweight bout.

Currently on a 4-fight win streak, the fighter said his strategy ahead of a big bout is to study his opponent’s weaknesses and devise a plan to outsmart his rival.

Nada – a champion in boxing, kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – has been training twice a day in Jeddah at his own premier training club Al Mokatil ahead of his fight.

PFL MENA 2 in Riyadh will be the second instalment of the four-event sport-season format featuring the region’s top fighters – all part of an initiative with SURJ Sports Investments (SURJ).

The rest of the inaugural season will take place across key markets in the Middle East.

According to the athlete, Saudi Arabia’s recent investments in the sports industry have transformed the field. When it comes to MMA, that transformation has been drastic, he said.

“As soon as the PFL MENA was launched in Saudi Arabia and we saw more investment and support, the world of MMA in the region changed. People in the Kingdom see MMA differently now. They understand it. They may not have known a lot about the sport before, but now it is gaining more popularity,” Nada explained.

“The sport has become more professional. Both male and female athletes are taking up the sport,” he added.

In a statement released in early June, PFL’s CEO Peter Murray had said the league aims to put “a global spotlight on great fighters across the region” through its partnership with SURJ Sports.

Nada said he hopes that continued investments in the sport will encourage schools to integrate MMA into their physical education curriculum.

“I have been a fighter for over 20 years, and I have my own academy where I have been training young fighters. I hope that I can be a reason that combat sports is introduced in schools and becomes part of the curriculum,” he said.

“Combat sports changes a child’s personality completely. It gives him confidence and discipline You see a lot of bullying nowadays. We need to create a generation that can be strong and confident.”

There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from combat sports, the Saudi fighter noted. In his decades-long career, it has taught him to always focus on his goals and to never give up despite any challenge he may face – a message he hopes young fighters can learn.

“My advice to young fighters is that they should always focus on their goals and keep going. Never give up on your dreams; no matter how many times you fail you must get up. I failed multiple times and I still got up and pursued my dreams,” Nada said.

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English Alarabiya

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