Warriors 11 marks MMA's return to UAE after three-month coronavirus lockdown

Friday's event at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi the first competition in the country since lockdown

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Fight card

1. Featherweight 66kg: Ben Lucas (AUS) v Ibrahim Kendil (EGY)

2. Lightweight 70kg: Mohammed Kareem Aljnan (SYR) v Alphonse Besala (CMR)

3. Welterweight 77kg:Marcos Costa (BRA) v Abdelhakim Wahid (MAR)

4. Lightweight 70kg: Omar Ramadan (EGY) v Abdimitalipov Atabek (KGZ)

5. Featherweight 66kg: Ahmed Al Darmaki (UAE) v Kagimu Kigga (UGA)

6. Catchweight 85kg: Ibrahim El Sawi (EGY) v Iuri Fraga (BRA)

7. Featherweight 66kg: Yousef Al Husani (UAE) v Mohamed Allam (EGY)

8. Catchweight 73kg: Mostafa Radi (PAL) v Ahmed Abdelraouf of Egypt (EGY)

9.  Featherweight 66kg: Jaures Dea (CMR) v Andre Pinheiro (BRA)

10. Catchweight 90kg: Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Juscelino Ferreira (BRA)

Friday’s Warriors 11 fight card will be a unique experience for the fighters as they prepare to get into the octagon without an audience to cheer them on.

However, that will take nothing away from the intensity and hunger to win when they face each other at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking at the pre-fight video conference on Monday, many of the fighters insisted they were raring to go when they emerge from a lockdown of more than three months.

Mosatafa Radi, who was set for a competition in Malaysia but couldn’t leave the UAE due to travel restrictions after the Covid-19 outbreak, felt he was destined to appear in Warriors 11.

“I think everything in life happens for a reason and the change of events led me to this,” said the Palestinian, who was undefeated in four amateur fights and has a record of one win and two losses in his pro appearances.

“I don't have any specific thoughts about the opponent. I just look at my preparation, and for me, it’s not only when I have a fight. I train all year round.

“For me, it’s not about training in the camp or preparing for a specific guy, but being ready to face anyone at any time. Having said that, I must say the camp provided to us by the UAE Warriors organisation was amazing.”

The fighters and technical staff have been in an isolation camp since May 27 and have passed Covid-19 tests.

The fights will be conducted without an audience but will be streamed live on Abu Dhabi Sports as well as affiliated websites and YouTube channels around the world.

Fouad Darwish, general manager of event management company Palms Sports, is glad to stage the first tournament in the country after the lockdown.

“We have a great leadership. I’m more than privileged to have such an amazing team with me,” he said.

“The participants are a family. Every single fighter in the Warriors, the previous ones and the coming ones, are the reason the UAE Warriors is globally recognised.

“As to the challenges, Covid-19 is a global challenge, and there are limitations of movement. However, the UAE government has shown great understanding to allow us to stage another successful Warriors night.

“We are thankful to all the fighters for taking up this challenge on their own by staying away from their families to present this event.”

Fight card

1. Featherweight 66kg: Ben Lucas (AUS) v Ibrahim Kendil (EGY)

2. Lightweight 70kg: Mohammed Kareem Aljnan (SYR) v Alphonse Besala (CMR)

3. Welterweight 77kg:Marcos Costa (BRA) v Abdelhakim Wahid (MAR)

4. Lightweight 70kg: Omar Ramadan (EGY) v Abdimitalipov Atabek (KGZ)

5. Featherweight 66kg: Ahmed Al Darmaki (UAE) v Kagimu Kigga (UGA)

6. Catchweight 85kg: Ibrahim El Sawi (EGY) v Iuri Fraga (BRA)

7. Featherweight 66kg: Yousef Al Husani (UAE) v Mohamed Allam (EGY)

8. Catchweight 73kg: Mostafa Radi (PAL) v Ahmed Abdelraouf of Egypt (EGY)

9.  Featherweight 66kg: Jaures Dea (CMR) v Andre Pinheiro (BRA)

10. Catchweight 90kg: Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Juscelino Ferreira (BRA)