A professional Kurdish mixed martial arts fighter from Britain was crowned champion at an event in the United Kingdom on Saturday.
Mario “Rudeboy” Saeed (13-4) defeated opponent Jake Blyth (9-2) via unanimous decision at the main event of Raged UK 11 to lift the super welterweight division title.
“Thanks to all the Kurdish people” who came out to support me, “I really, really appreciate it,” Saeed said in a post on his official Facebook page.
During an interview with Kurdistan 24 in July, the Kurdish fighter revealed that victory against Blyth would open the door for him to make his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, one of his primary targets as an MMA fighter.
“After this fight, hopefully, the UFC calls me, and I get a contract. I just got to keep winning,” Saeed stated.
He told Kurdistan 24 that his team had spoken to Sean Shelby, the fight organizer for the UFC, who said that “they are watching us right now and want us to win one or two more fights.”
The 29-year-old Kurd is considered a ground specialist with eight of his 13 victories coming via submissions. He is one of the only Kurds from Kurdistan who holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which indicates an expert level of skills in the fighting style.
Saeed began his fighting career as a boxer before moving on to kickboxing. Due to the rules in boxing and kickboxing, which prevented him from fighting his opponent on the ground, he decided to pursue MMA.
“I’m the first-ever Kurdish black belt, it took me 13 years to get it,” he told Kurdistan 24 in July.
“I’ve been fighting for a long time in professional Muay Thai (kickboxing) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, now we’re taking the MMA game seriously.”