Sabah Fadai is a fighter in transition. He was on a lot of people's radars going in to MFC 33 in Edmonton Alberta Canada back in May of this year. Dominating the opening minutes of the first round, Fadai dismantled his rival Diego Bautista only to have a split-second lapse of judgment and an illegal knee stop what was looking like a fight about to finish.
''Basically, I just had the killer instinct I guess and I just threw a stupid knee and that ended the fight." - Sabah Fadai-
The bout was ruled a no contest and Fadai fell off the radar. After some good old smack talking between the two rivals they were set to face one another again at MFC 34. It was not to be, and Bautista pulled out or was pull out of the fight. Perhaps a blessing in disguise because Sabah tore his MCL shortly after the fight was cancelled and has been on the road to full recovery rehabbing the ligaments in his knee.
"I'm starting to box a little bit more now, I still can't throw any kicks or take any damage to the legs so I'm just taking it very light" -Sabah Fadai-
He hopes to be finished rehabilitation by the end of August, and is looking to make his comeback for MFC 35. When he does, he also has plans to make his debut at 170lbs.
"I want to make a 170lbs debut, I want to test out the waters and see what it's like."
Fadai is also with a noticeably smaller entourage than he was with previously. He has parted ways with EFM and now is being managed by himself and his team at MambaMMA with Kultar Gill, Rico Brinson and Sabah's brother Anis.
"It's going to stay in the family with people who care about me and want to see me succeed, not just somebody who wants to do it for the money." –Sabah Fadai-
Fadai has experience fighting overseas in Singapore already and is also considering fighting for SFL. Recently, Fadai's coach and DREAM veteran Kultar Gill, fought at SFL 3 and scored a first round KO against his opponent Quinton Arendse. About competing overseas Sabah said...
"It's going to happen soon or later,...I'm only exclusive to MFC in North America."
As the near future approaches, which ever direction Fadai, chooses, the choice will be his and his alone. Whatever direction he decides to take in his career, he will no doubt continue to grow his fan base and climb up the rankings. When asked about his future goals with his 2 remaining fights on contract with MFC. Sabah didn't hesitate.
"I'd like to see about an MFC title shot. It's a nice title, it would look good around my waist."
The following is the audio transcription from MMAMATRIX.net interviewer Chris Maskulak's exclusive interview with Sabah Fadai held on Aug 2. 2012.
MMAMATRIX: So tell us about your last fight at MFC 33 against Diego Bautista. It was ruled a No Contest, tell us what happened from your perspective.
Sabah Fadai: "Basically, I just had the killer instinct I guess and I just threw a stupid knee and that ended the fight."
MMAMATRIX: So in MFC as well it's illegal to knee a grounded fighter?
Sabah Fadai: "That's why, but I mean he wasn't hurt at all, he was just being a little bitch"
MMAMATRIX: (laughing) Do you want me to add that in to the transcript?
Sabah Fadai: "Yaa you can add it, you can add in everything I say"
MMAMATRIX: Now since then, you 2 were again scheduled for a rematch right?
Sabah Fadai: "Ya, we were rescheduled at MFC 34, but he pulled out after all that shit-talking he pulled out, he still pulled out. I've been calling him out ever since on Twitter on Facebook everywhere, he doesn't want to fight me."
MMAMATRIX: So Diego Bautista someone on your hit list, is there any other fighters in the MFC that you would like to fight or think would be a good match up and a step closer to a title shot?
Sabah Fadai: "Well I mean, it's every fighters goal to get closer to a title shot. Right now it's between (Mukai Maromo and Adam Lynn) for the title so we'll see how it plays out, the MFC Lightweight Division is pretty stacked, everyone's doing awesome so... right now, there's no need to call anyone out, I just take it one step at a time and whoever they throw my way, I just take the fight. I'll fight anybody, just give me enough time to train for it and I'll fight anyone you know?"
MMAMATRIX: So does this No Contest count as one of the fights on your contract?
Sabah Fadai: "Yes, it does. It counts as a fight and I have 2 left on contract."
MMAMATRIX: So let's twitch gears a bit here. Has anybody asked you to fight since for another MFC event?
Sabah Fadai: "MFC 34 I was supposed to be on the card, after Diego pulled out, I had another opponent, but a couple of days later it was cancelled, I don't know for what reason, but it was cancelled and then about 4 days later I tore an MCL (knee) in training so I'm a little out of commission right now."
MMAMATRIX: So you're on the mend?
Sabah Fadai: "I'm starting to box a little bit more now; I still can't throw any kicks or take any damage to the legs so I'm just taking it very light, doing a lot of total therapy like water therapy. So just want to get it back to 100%, I mean it will never really truly be 100% you know but as close to 100% as I can before I head back into the ring."
MMAMATRIX: So let's talk management, I know that you are no longer with Echelon Fight Management. Would you care to comment on why you are no longer with Echelon or what your decision was to go in a different direction?
Sabah Fadai: "Echelon dropped it (the ball). I knew from day 1, well not day 1 but after the 1st one (first fight) that I made the wrong choice of being with them, they're unreliable, I mean all the best to them in future and whatever but he didn't do his job right and I didn't want to hang around anymore."
MMAMATRIX: Are you currently seeking new management or under new management?
Sabah Fadai: "No, just my coach Kultar (Black Mamba) Gill and my brother are still helping me out, managing and stuff like that. I want to stay with people that actually care about me you know? And not have people running their mouth saying that they'll do this and do that but never come through with anything."
MMAMATRIX: I'm getting the sense this is more non-fight related and I want to keep it professional. With your coach recently going to India for Super Fight League 3, do you have any inclination to go and fight overseas?
Sabah Fadai: "It's going to happen soon or later, my MFC contract is a North American contract so I'm only exclusive to MFC in North America."
MMAMATRIX: So you can go overseas to fight outside of your (MFC) contract?
Sabah Fadai: "Ya I've been looking at 1 FC, XFL and Super Fight League. Most likely it will be with SFL because I kind of have an in with them already with some of the SFL guys there, and they're a great promotion."
MMAMATRIX: What do you know about SFL?
Sabah Fadai: "They're a great promotion, they're already taking over and I mean, India is already a huge market. Kultar said he really enjoyed watching the fights, they are very organized and from what Black Mamba says he had a great experience over there. You know that's what I really look for. MFC really takes care of their fighters too and I like that."
MMAMATRIX: What kinds of things can you say positive about the MFC organization?
Sabah Fadai: "What I've always said, I can only say good things about MFC, it's a great organization they take care of their fighters from day one to the last day and it's fun, it's got great competition, it's not a bunch of bums, there's a lot of talent every time you step in the ring. – Except Diego, Diego is NOT a challenge at all."
MMAMATRIX: I did see the footage of the fight and it looked like you were totally dominating the fight and dictating where the fight went.
Sabah Fadai: "I was dominating that fight no matter what, I saw it in his eyes, he broke down when I was fighting him. Someone said that he made it to the Ultimate Fighter show. That would good for me actually because it would say way more about me you know."
MMAMATRIX: In a way you almost wish him luck?
Sabah Fadai: "I do, I do wish him luck. I hope he does awesome. The further he makes it, the better I look. I just sit back and get the glory."
MMAMATRIX: So how much longer are out for with your knee injury?
Sabah Fadai: "I'll probably be out for another month or 2, I mean, if I take the right precautions and take my time I'll heal faster."
MMAMATRIX: Was surgery ever an option?
Sabah Fadai: "I don't like to go under the knife, it's not my cup of tea I guess you could say. I'd rather do natural therapy, resistance training and stuff like that. If it was a complete tear then there's no other way except surgery, it's a tare but Doctor Victor Chan at Performax is taking really good care of me, and of course, as I'm doing rehab the muscles getting stronger and I should be finished by the end of August."
MMAMATRIX: Do you have any goals in mind to come back for MFC 35 or something like that?
Sabah Fadai: "Yaa, I want to come back for MFC 35. I want to make, well, right now I'm a little heavy, I've been eating a lot of unhealthy food. I want to make a 170lbs debut I want to test out the waters and see what it's like. I'm not sure who yet, but I have a person in mind."
MMAMATRIX: Care to drop a name?
Sabah Fadai: "Not just yet, but when it happens, I'll let you guys know first."
MMAMATRIX: So a move up, what are you walking around at right now?
Sabah Fadai: "About 190"
MMAMATRIX: Wow, I remember when we spoke last time and you were fighting at Lightweight and a week or so before the fight at 155 you were 165. How much toll does it take on the body to add and drop weight like that?
Sabah Fadai: "You gotta do it properly, a lot of fighters try to cut like 20 lbs. the week before a fight and that's not healthy. I try to lose about 10 pounds (of water weight) at most the week before the fight and it doesn't affect the body very much."
MMAMATRIX: Now, because you have been a little heavy as of late, is this one of the motivations to go up a class to Welterweight?
Sabah Fadai: "I mean I just want to test it out. I'll come back to 155 I don't know I just want to make my 170 debut soon. I mean it's my choice what weight class I fight at so. That's what I want to do, no one really has a say, and I want to try it out."
MMAMATRIX: How do you think you would be as fighter at 170 as opposed to 155, maybe with a little more weight you're stronger and little slower for example. How do you see yourself at 170?
Sabah Fadai: "My walk around weight for 155 is about 180 so there's not much difference in strength. I'll probably just a little bit stronger and the speed won't change that much. A little bit stronger and just as fast, I think I'll do well at 170. When I fought Mukai (Maromo) I was light 158lbs 2 weeks before the fight, but for the fight against Diego I cut 8 pounds, I lifted a lot of weight in preparation for that fight, I was a little slower, but I felt a lot better."
MMAMATRIX: Are you still bouncing?
Sabah Fadai: "Yaa, I've been off work for about 3 weeks now. I couldn't risk something happening at the club, you know I get involved and end up hurting myself further."
MMAMATRIX: Any recent interesting incidences at work?
Sabah Fadai: "Not really, no, but there was this one guy an amateur fighter who lost a fight in the ring and about 3 or 4 weeks later or something like that he comes up to me and I had no idea who he was ....he comes up and he say's 'Hey I want a rematch against Ryan' and I'm like who are you? So this guy came down for a while and every time he'd call Ryan out you know like 'when is that rematch going to happen?' and I'm thinking never cause you're a pansy. His corner threw in the towel, he was getting beat up pretty bad so his corner had to save him."
MMAMATRIX: Would you ever want your corner to throw in the towel?
Sabah Fadai: "Oh no, never, yaa I've discussed that before fights all the time."
MMAMATRIX: So you would rather go out that tap?
Sabah Fadai: "Oh for sure, for sure, I'd rather have my arm broken before my coach...well...my coach wouldn't throw in the towel anyway, he'd forget it in the change-room." (laughing)
MMAMATRIX: You've expressed interest in SFL are you waiting for your MFC contract to expire before you go to India?
Sabah Fadai: "I might do both at the same time we'll see."
MMAMATRIX: Have you been made an offer by SFL? Do they know who you are? Have you expressed interest?
Sabah Fadai: "Yaa they know, but we haven't really talked about anything. They know I want to fight but they haven't got back to me."
MMAMATRIX: Now they are also just starting a different version of the Ultimate Fighter called SFL Challengers, is that an interest of yours? Is that something you'd like to compete at?
Sabah Fadai: "No I don't want that, I don't want the reality show I don't want the cameras. If there would be any reality show it would be the Ultimate Fighter (only)."
MMAMATRIX: Going back to this move to 170 hopefully for MFC 35. What does the Welterweight Division in the MFC look like?
Sabah Fadai: "It's pretty stacked but, you've got Nathan Coy as the champion and he's legit, totally legit, but um, you know how Anderson Silva went up to 205 and tested out the waters to see what it's like? That's what I want to do, you know I'm young, I'm 27 and I just want to try different things you know, I don't want to regret and say I never tried 170."
MMAMATRIX: So you mention, you're 27 at your peak and already a pro fighter, how much longer do you think you have left in you and what do you hope to accomplish in that time?
Sabah Fadai: "I think I've got about 4 years left in me, I don't know, it all depends on my injuries right, you know, as time goes on the body can't withstand the training longer. We'll see, if the body gives up then I'll give up otherwise I keep going."
MMAMATRIX: What is the ultimate goal then for next 4-5 years or so?
Sabah Fadai: "I don't like to look that far ahead. I like to take it one step at a time. I'd like to see about a title shot for the MFC Lightweight belt. It's a nice title, it would look good around my waist."
MMAMATRIX: But what about this move to 170? How does that affect your ranking at Lightweight if you beat someone at 170?
Sabah Fadai: "If I move to 170 and do well, I'll be really dangerous for someone at 155, so it can help my ranking as a 155, so that would put me up in the rankings. But, I've fought twice at 145 (Flyweight) and twice at 160, I've had 2 fights now at 155."
MMAMATRIX: Were the 160 lbs. fights catch-weight?
Sabah Fadai: "No, they use kilos over there are it works out to 160lbs. That was for Martial Combat in Singapore and they are the same promoters at 1 FC. That's another reason to move to 170 because when I was at 160 I had so much power and 170 just makes sense to me...I'll be knockin bitches out"
MMAMATRIX: Anybody you would like to give any shout outs to?
Sabah Fadai: "My coaches Black Mamba Kultar Gill, Rico Brinson and all the guys at the academy, partners at MAMBAMMA. Dr. Victor Chan at Performax, my brother Anis, Yaaa that's it."
MMAMATRIX: A noticeably smaller entourage now.
Sabah Fadai: "Yaa smaller entourage, just my team and my family. It's going to stay in the family with people who care about me and want to see me succeed, not just somebody who wants to do it for the money."
MMAMATRIX: One that note, Sabah thanks again for taking the time to speak with me and us here at MMAMATRIX.com. I wish you a full and speedy recovery and I look forward to your next fight at 170.
Sabah Fadai: "My pleasure man, I mean you're calling all the way from Brazil, I've got to put in a little time, and when I get my opponent for 170 I'll let you guys know who first."
MMAMATRIX: Much appreciated Sabah, have a great night.
Sabah Fadai: "You to man, have a good night. Follow me on twitter twitter @sabahfadai
MMA - http://www.mambamma.com
MFC - www.maximumfightingchampionship.com
MMA MATRIX (BRAZIL)
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