Xavier Alaoui UAE Warriors Arabia bantamweight champ after sensational KO - in pictures

Al Qaisi to appeal for loss to Jesse Arnett to be ruled a no-contest, claiming Canadian influenced decision

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Xavier Alaoui was crowned UAE Warriors Arabia's first-ever bantamweight champion after a sensational knock-out of Fabricio Sarraff in the promotion’s eighth edition in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Moments after being sent to the canvas by a power-packed right hook from Sarraf that opened up a deep cut above Alaoui's left eye, the Canada-based Moroccan was quickly up on his feet to take the fight back to his Lebanese opponent.

Alaoui landed a crunching right hook of his own to send Sarraff to the canvas and reined down some heavy shots on his stricken opponent before the referee stopped the contest.

“It’s never over in this fighting game until it’s over,” Alaoui said on his remarkable turnaround.

“I’m from Morocco and when is the king going to invite me to the country of my birth. Show me what you got in your country. I have never been to Morocco since I was three years old and I want to go and see my family.

“My life is hard out there in Canada. The UAE Warriors is awesome to give me this opportunity to make everything better in my life. This is a very professional organisation. Look at my face.

“I’m doing this because I love it. I have lot of people to thank including my young family for always standing behind me.”

Alaoui, 30, won the vacant UAE Warriors International bantamweight title in November 2020 but lost in his first defence against Brazilian Vinicius de Oliveira in March 2021.

“I never complain but the way I got here through the flights was chaotic and this bit of drama in my last flight,” he added after extending his record in mixed martial arts to 14-4.

“This is me. When I’m here, I’m here. I bring everything to the cage. I Iove this place. I love the UAE Warriors. Now this is my belt.”

Eslam Syaha of Egypt beat Laid Zerhouni by unanimous decision to win the promotion's middleweight belt but Jordanian Nawras Abzakh submitted Algeria's Sami Yahia by rear-naked choke but was ineligible for the flyweight title as he failed to make weight.

Meanwhile, Ali Al Qaisi has appealed for a no-contest after the second round stoppage of his UAE Warriors (International) featherweight title fight against Jesse Arnett by the cage-side doctor on Saturday.

“This is a title fight and we are here inside the cage to fight five rounds and in our mind we know we’ll have bleed and suffer damages,” the Jordanian explained.

“I suffered a cut above my eye and then my opponent told the referee to stop the fight and he stopped it. How can a referee listen to the other fighter and stop the fight?

“We are now working for a no-contest with a re-match planned. I was angry with Jesse for prompting the referee to stop the fight.”

Arnett added: “I have massive respect to the royal fighter [Al Qaisi] because he’s the most popular in this region and I don’t mind being the bad guy. I want round two and I want it soon as possible.”


UAE Warriors Arabia bantamweight title: Xavier Alaoui beat Fabricio Sarraff via second-round KO.

UAE Warriors Arabia middleweight title: Eslam Syaha beat Laid Zerhouni via unanimous decision.

UAE Warriors Arabia flyweight title: Nawras Abzakh beat Sami Yahia via third-round submission. *Abzakh missed weight and was ineligible to win the title

Middleweight: Mohammad Osseili beat Yousri Belgaroui via unanimous decision).

Catchweight 130lbs: Hadi Omar Al Hussaini (UAE) drew with Mohammad Qwai Abzakh.

Catchweight 165lbs: Omar Hussein beat Mohammad El Jaghdal via second-round submission.

Welterweight: Khaled Amr beat Rashed Dawood (UAE) via TKO in Round 1.

Featherweight: Adam Meskini beat Jalal Al Daaja via TKO in Round 2.

Welterweight: Mohammad Alaqraa beat Namo Fazil via unanimous decision.

Catchweight 143lbs: Wasem Anwar beat Ali Elkhatib via first-round submission.

Featherweight: Hussein Salem beat Nizar Ben Amara via first-round submission.

Featherweight: Eman Almudhaf beat Rewan Yasser via TKO in Round 2.

Featherweight: Mehdi Saadi beat Ibrahim Al Faqih Hassan via first-round submission.

Updated: July 04, 2022, 7:00 AM