Bruno Machado's title showdown highlights UAE Warriors triple-header

Brazilian defends international lightweight belt against Yun Jae Jung on Yas Island

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Defending champion Bruno Machado's contest against Korean Yun Jae Jung is the highlight of a packed weekend as the UAE Warriors embark on their 2023 campaign at the Etihad Arena.

Warriors Africa opens the triple-header at Yas Island on Friday, followed by UAE Warriors 36 (international) on Saturday, and Warriors Arabia on Sunday.

Brazilian Machado (15 wins, 9 losses) was due to meet Martun Mezhlumyan but the Armenian withdrew due to illness, opening the door for Jung (8-2) to make his Warriors debut in their lightweight title contest on Saturday.

“In my opinion, I’ll have to be a little bit careful because my new opponent is a hard guy and I didn’t have a lot of time to train specifically for him,” Machado, a long-time Abu Dhabi resident, said at the pre-fight press conference at the Palms Sports headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“I trained for Martun for three months and now I have to face another opponent. But, I’ll fight the same way I do and keep this belt with me.”

The opening Warriors Africa is headlined by the featherweight title contest between Guinea's Lamo Mohamed Camara (5-1) and Cameroonian Jaures Dea (3-2).

Camara made a winning debut in the Warriors with a unanimous decision over Tunisian Mounir Khalifa in September last year.

“I have been yearning for this opportunity for a long time and come Friday, I’ll finish Jaures Dea,” Camara said, hoping for a title contest against Ali Al Qaisi for the Warriors International featherweight belt.

“After this fight, I want Ali. However, that can wait because my focus is on the Jaures fight.”

Dea has made 10 Warriors appearances with six victories. His last fight was a unanimous decision over Zimbabwean Sylvester Chipfumbu, also in September.

“Let’s wait and see the result on Friday,” Dea said. “I’m not going to leave without this belt. I have prepared well and want to get on with my journey and return to the Warriors International.”

Fouad Darwish, chief executive officer of Palms Sports, promised a rematch between Al Qaisi and Jesse Arnett in May.

“We are going to stage eight events before June 31, and 16 for the year,” Darwish said.

“We are already locked March 17, 18 and 19. We will stage a double header on May 18 and 19, and see Ali Al Qaisi and Jesse Arnett settle their scores for once and for all.

“We are committed to hold another eight between July and December.”

Updated: February 24, 2023, 8:49 AM