Al Batal is Back With Better Fights and More Reality
Another exciting season starting Sept 27 on Fox Movies!
22 SEPTEMBER 2014, ABU DHABI, UAE
After studying viewer feedback from the first season we learnt a few things. Viewers wanted more MMA in the show, they felt the amateur fights were not explosive enough and that the fighters spent too much time sightseeing. The most important feedback was to improve the quality of the fights and the fighters. We listened and worked our hardest to deliver.
Once Season 2 contestants realized they would be spending 80% of their time at the custom-built Al Batal Boot Camp training and fighting, it was clear that this season would be different. Not everyone was happy with the change.
‘The training is intense, way tougher than before.’ - Sabil Rahali, Middleweight fighter
‘All we know how to do is fight, that’s it!’ - Tariq Ismail, Lightweight fighter
Already the intended vision of a more raw and character driven season was apparent. Our goals this season were to:
- Ensure everything being done would help develop the fighting and athletic abilities of the contestants
- Help spread awareness of the sport and improve the regional standard in coaching and fighting
- Shine a light on the reality of being a fighter - particularly an Arab MMA fighter
The MENA region is a gold mine in terms of fighting spirits. Arabs have a reputation for pride and a ‘never back down’ attitude. While many coaches in the region are extremely proficient in their respective disciplines (eg Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu etc.), the average Arab fighter has limited access to world-class MMA coaching and needs training in the various disciplines specifically for MMA.
Al Batal is a platform designed to discover, train and propel Arab fighters from around the world on the path to MMA greatness. Let us introduce you to this season’s fighters.
Introducing Tariq Ismail (70Kg), training out of Toronto, Canada. Originally from Sudan and Egypt, this young mixed martial artist is one of the smartest fighters to step into the Al Batal cage. Tariq has a background in Muay Thai and was one of the easiest fighters to coach.
Sabil Rahali (84Kg), living in Sweden and originally from Tunisia, this bouncer can pack a punch! Sabil has heavy hands that his coach made sure to capitalize on - he always goes for the knock out.
Youness Mikiss (84Kg), living in France and representing Morocco, this BJJ blue belt isn’t your typical MMA fighter. With a full time job and secure lifestyle, he is a rare breed of fighter who fights for the love of the sport and not for the money. Youness fights with his head as much as his fists.
Young, good looking and charismatic, when Jordanian Izzedin El Derabani (70Kg) first met the Al Batal scouts, he was too shy to make a strong impact. What impressed the scouts was his stamina and refined Kickboxing technique - he did not disappoint during the season.
Bandar Yazan (70Kg), one of the most controversial candidates to join the adventure; known for his unsportsmanlike performance in another promotion. The Saudi MMA fighter met with the Al Batal talent scouts to prove to them he wasn’t “that guy”. Has he changed?
Sofiane Seghir (84Kg), representing Algeria from France, donnes a very respectful attitude, but once the cage door is closed, all hell breaks lose. He still has much to develop as a fighter, technically, but that never stops him from going all the way.
BJJ black belt Walid Seghir (70Kg), originally from Algeria, lives in France and holds the Palestinian struggle very close to heart. He created the “PalesTeam” brand which he is very proud of. As a fighter, he is very talented on the ground and has an impressive striking background. Walid is an amazing athlete with strong work ethic.
Abdelali Hariri (70Kg) and Walid Akrouh (84Kg) are both originally from Morocco and currently living in Spain. They both fight out of “Ogum Team” in Badalona, Barcelona. They have amazing coaches to motivate them and their skill set is a reflection of that. Abdelali is a bit older, more composed and focused, whereas Walid is only 19, with lots of potential but a bit of a joker.
Dennis Mungai (70Kg) was born and bred in Sweden but never had the chance to meet his father, who was originally from Morocco. Dennis likes to keep to himself and isn’t the friendliest character on the show. He was there for the chance to train with hardened vets of the sport and possibly become Al Batal, making friends was not on his agenda.
Khaled Aljohani (84Kg) is a 32 years old Saudi Kickboxer. Training out of Riyadh, Khaled never stepped inside an MMA cage before but he jumped at the opportunity to do so. When Al Batal scouts contacted his gym, he sent his application hours later and would not take no for an answer. He is very quiet but enjoys a good laugh now and then.
Youssef Wehbe (84Kg) is the youngest contestant to join the show. Lebanese and currently living in Thailand, Youssef lives to fight and fights to live. Competing on a weekly basis in Thailand to pay the bills, Youssef is a good striker with a bright future.
An Arabic version of this press release is attached.
"This time around we are focusing on how ‘real' the sport is, viewers and fans can expect raw and unadulterated access to what went on in the season, and to the reality and realness of the MMA industry in general. In Season 2 of Al Batal the talent level has been raised up a notch (or two) to include semi-pros and pros. In short, it’s tough, it’s raw, it’s personal. " Emad Hayan, CEO, iSee Entertainment and Events
"The training is intense, way tougher than before." Sabil Rahali, Middleweight fighter
"All we know how to do is fight, that’s it!" Tariq Ismail, Lightweight fighter
About Al Batal
Al Batal is a reality show based on the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that provides fighters of Arabic origin with an opportunity to realize their dreams.