Wrestling is one of the most difficult disciplines in combat sports to master, but Mohamed “L’Ambiance” Said Maalem has excelled in the said field at the highest level.
In fact, he is one of the most lauded grapplers in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.
Said Maalem was a natural at wrestling. He trained every single day at a very young age, dominated the competition, and became a national champion in his home country of Algeria.
His caliber and credentials as a wrestler could have made him a regular fixture in the prestigious Summer Olympic Games as a representative of Algeria, but he found his true calling when he met Brazilian coach Anderson Pereiro in 2010.
The trainer invited him to spar with a pro MMA athlete, which turned out to be an eye-opener for him due to the all-encompassing nature of the sport. At that very moment, he made the decision to continue competing, only now it would be inside the cage as a prizefighter.
The methodical Algerian already had a world-class grappling base. Now, all he needed to do was add striking and submissions to his arsenal.
Four years later, Said Maalem made his professional debut, and since then, he never looked back. “L’Ambiance” has been an unstoppable force, racking up 11 victories out of 14 bouts with six wins by way of knockout.
When he inked an exclusive deal with BRAVE Combat Federation in 2019, he immediately established himself as one of the most exciting light heavyweights on the roster in his maiden appearance.
Said Maalem outclassed Todd Stoute via unanimous decision in his first assignment under the promotion’s banner and then put the division on notice by dispatching Zvonimir Kralj in the first round at BRAVE CF 45 in November 2020.
After propelling himself into the international limelight, Said Maalem now faces the opportunity of a lifetime. He is booked to face BRAVE CF Middleweight World Champion Mohammad “The Latest” Fakhreddine for the vacant BRAVE CF Light Heavyweight World Championship in the main event of BRAVE CF 52: Bad Blood in Milan, Italy on August 1.
If Said Maalem can defeat Fakhreddine, not only will he have an intricately-crafted belt around his waist, but he will certainly elevate his name closer to greatness.
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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