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Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady: From refugee to World Championship Title Contender

Abdul Kareem Al-Selwady walks in at Brave Combat Federation
Abdul Kareem Al-Selwady walks in at Brave Combat Federation
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Modified 11 Nov 2018, 17:42 IST
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Abdul Kareem Al Selwady is the first MMA fighter from Palestine to compete for the championship title at Brave Combat Federation. The lightweight fighter who emerged from the refugee camps give a new spark of hope while he is set to face current Lightweight champion and ex-UFC fighter, Lucas "Mineiro" Martins at Brave 18 on 16th November at Khalifa Sports City, Bahrain.

The fighter who trains at the Fortis MMA in Dallas, Texas reflected his days as a refugee and dedicated his upcoming fight to all those who supported him during the days of struggle and to those underprivileged youth who strive to achieve their dreams. Abdul Kareem Mubarak added the name of the village - Selwady, where he was originally from to his name thus making it Abdul Kareem Al-Selwady. He became iconic for high-intensity bouts and theatric post-victory celebrations with his father who is also his cornerman, Husam Mubarak Al-Selwady.

“I am a Palestinian and circumstances forced me to be a refugee in Jordan. Now I have a Jordanian passport as well as a US passport. I feel that when I fight, behind each punch and behind each throw I hit, there is the big voice of support for the Palestinians. They are very proud of me and I am very proud of them. I fight for them, for people to know their story. This happens a lot. I raise the flag of Palestine and people always ask me hey, what’s that flag and why do you raise it? That gives me the chance to tell my story and talk about my people and that is one of the main reasons I do it”, said Abdul Kareem.

Abdul is currently undefeated in Brave Combat Federation with four wins in the lightweight division and has a five-fight win streak in his professional career. His opponent is also on a five-fight win streak. Lucas Mineiro has a professional career with 20 wins and three losses and is considered overwhelmingly as the favourite who will retain the championship. But the contender is unfazed by the statistics and believes that despite being the underdog, he can upset the status quo in the sport.

“I give a voice to our people and I will continue to do it. That is something I am very proud of. My opponent is strong. But I am a survivor and thrive in overcoming challenges. I believe my greatest strength is to defy the odds. All my previous opponents were brilliant competitors who pushed me to the limits. Fighting the toughest fights earns you respect and make the victory even sweeter. I am prepared and will be at my very best ”, Selwady added.

The bout marks the main event of Brave 18, in which three championship titles will be contested. Brave 18 will take place during Brave International Combat Week 2018 taking place in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Published 11 Nov 2018, 17:42 IST
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