Mohammad Fakhreddine, the two-weight world champion of BRAVE CF is fresh off of making history by defeating Mohamed Said Maalem at BRAVE CF 57 in Bahrain, putting an end to that rivalry and adding the Light Heavyweight title to his Middleweight championship. However, it appears that there is no rest for the champion, as he now has had a new target painted on his back by an old foe from his past – Tahar Hadbi.
Hadbi and Mohammad Fakhreddine developed a huge rivalry of their own a few years back, one that perhaps even exceeded the level of that rivalry with Said Maalem. And to make matters even more complicated, Hadbi and Said Maalem are teammates and very good friends in their own right, with Tahar serving as one of Maalem’s cornermen at BRAVE CF 57.
Hadbi and Fakhreddine first met at BRAVE CF 9 in a Welterweight bout, with their fight ending in a no contest, following an accidental low blow from Hadbi. The bad blood rematch was then set for BRAVE CF 10, and Hadbi managed to get a TKO victory over the now double champion in the second round.
Since then, Hadbi has dealt with a variety of issues outside the sport, while Fakhreddine moved up to Middleweight to claim the world title and then became the Light Heavyweight titleholder with the win over Said Maalem.
After the fight against Maalem, a brawl erupted with Hadbi invading the cage to try and get at Fakhreddine, and the duo being stopped by referee Aaron Wallace in a moment that went viral around the world. Taking to social media, Hadbi said: “Let’s defend your belt and your honor against me @moefakhreddine” before insulting the champion with the hashtag 1-0, in reference to the victory he currently holds over his rival.
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In typical fashion, the champion was quick and cutting to respond, posting a picture of referee Aaron Wallace dragging him away from the scene of the fight, saying: “Getting pulled away before I commit a murder…someone tell Conor to win a fight before he calls the champ champ out…if he wants it he can have it but please make him sign a waiver that if he dies, then, oh well, he dies.”
After such a dark, Ivan-Drago inspired post, Hadbi retorted to a social media post asking if there would be another fight between the pair. Tahar was quick to shut down any notion of it being a trilogy, saying, “There is no trilogy, a trilogy is when each of us won one 1-1. But you didn’t win s***. You faked like a b***h in the 1st and got your ass handed to you in the 2nd. The 3rd one is to save what’s left of your honor.”
Fakhreddine made it clear that he had a very different recollection of events, countering: “You mean I whipped the floor with your honor in the last fight. Is that same honor or something else?” Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, there can be no doubt that this has the potential to be the biggest grudge match in the history of Arab Mixed Martial Arts, should the fight ever be run back.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, 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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