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Long-time enemies Mohammad Fakhreddine and Mohamed Said Maalem are getting a new chance to settle their rivalry at BRAVE CF 52: Bad Blood, which takes place on August 1st, in Milan, Italy, in association with The Golden Cage. In a theatrical announcement of the main event of the evening, BRAVE Combat Federation released a video depicting the chilling rivalry taking viewers through cancellation of their BRAVE CF 50 bout all the way to the confirmation of their upcoming clash.
Middleweight champion Fakhreddine was set to make history by challenging for the Light Heavyweight belt at BRAVE CF 50. He wanted to become a double-weight champion, but first would have to go through top contender Said Maalem. While hints of trash talk were there, the build up for the fight was filled with respect.
But, everything changed on fight night when Fakhreddine fell ill and was forced to withdraw from the fight with minutes to go. A visibly upset Said Maalem went to the cage for a quick interview and kicked off the proceedings, saying he wanted to teach Fakhreddine manners inside the cage, and complained that his opponent had involved his country in the mild trash talk, something Maalem took very personally.
Shortly after the cancellation, Maalem surfaced what has become a meme of Fakhreddine; he replaced the original fight announcement with a clipart of Fakhreddine on the toilet. This jump-started a war with only one possible ending: blood.
Both fighters ramped up the insults and the fight for the Light Heavyweight World Championship turned ugly; it was no longer just about the title. The bad blood has gotten personal as nations have been slammed amidst this beef, and both fighters swore to teach the other an unforgettable lesson.
The special announcement video published by BRAVE Combat Federation does not only detail the timeline from the rivalry, from the announcement for the first bout, to the backstage of cancellation, it emotes the perspectives of both fighters and the brewing anger as well as exclusive footage from Said Maalem finding out his dream of becoming a world champion would have to be postponed.
BRAVE CF 52: Bad Blood in Milan Italy on August 1st marks a change in Arab combat sport history, either the beginning of a dream or the destruction of one. The significance of the fight goes beyond a mere title, and both fighters are ready to put everything on the line for a chance to demolish the other.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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