Brave Combat Federation’s biggest rivalry is yet to be settled as Tahar Hadbi and Mohammad Fakhreddine are scheduled to fight again in a rematch at Brave CF 10 in Amman, Jordan on March 2nd.
The two squared off at Brave CF 9 in Bahrain but an accidental low blow by Hadbi in the second round rendered Fakhreddine unable to continue.
After a back and forth first round, Hadbi believes that the tide was turning in his favour. Mid way through the second round, Hadbi connected with a low blow in the clinch, sending Fakhreddine tumbling to the ground.
Fakhreddine was given five minutes to recover but was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a no contest.
Hadbi believes Fakhreddine wanted a way out.
“You know, taking a shot in this area happens a lot in combat sports,” Hadbi said. “I understand that it’s painful but you rest five minutes and you go back. I’ve never seen someone go out on a stretcher for that. I think he knew that he will lose the fight and he ran away.”
“He did the same thing in Brazil against Booth and in his fight against Vinicius. If you go out on a stretcher it means that you are really hurt. He went to the hospital for this, so that means he can show us a medical report that says he was really hurt, right? But no, he had nothing, he faked it.”
In the first round of the fight, both fighters had their moments. Fakhreddine was landing effective leg kicks while Hadbi was countering with a stiff jab. Hadbi feels that by the second round, he had Fakhreddine figured out and that there was a momentum change.
“I watched the fight a few times and everything was going as planned,” Hadbi said. “This guy fights the same way every time. I blocked all his attacks, I was looking for the right moment to counter him in the first round and in the second round, I was going to start pushing the pace. I wasn’t worried at any point. I was going to win this fight, he knows.”
Having already competed with Fakhreddine for just under seven minutes, Hadbi vows that he will leave no doubt in the rematch. Come March 2nd, he plans on displaying an even better version of himself.
“At first, I thought he was powerful but now I know that he’s not,” Hadbi said. “He landed some good low kicks but I already knew he would. He did the same in his previous fights so I will defend it better and for the rest, I won’t say more, I have something new for him. I will make Lebanon weep.”
With all the hype surrounding the fight and the utter disdain for his opponent, Hadbi believes it will result in an even better performance. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“When I fight against a guy I don’t like, I train even more. I don’t stop, it motivates me a lot. I will not give him any chance. Emotion affects my performance in a good way, I fight smart. The challenge, the hype around the fight doesn’t distract me.”
Despite starting his career in Brave with 2 straight no contests, a win over Fakhreddine could very well cement Hadbi as the number one contender. However, he is solely focused on the task at hand.
“The Brave welterweight division has some good athletes,” Hadbi said. “I think everyone is a good challenger but at the moment, I don’t think about the belt. I’m concentrated on my next fight.”
And he believes that he will be a better and stronger version of himself come March 2nd. He plans on bringing something new to the table in the rematch.
“It will be the continuity of the first fight but with new things and a better me in all aspects. I feel more powerful, stronger than ever, that’s all I know.”