• A combined martial artist referred to as Mounir Lazzez makes his UFC debut on the second of the corporate’s 4 “Battle Island” occasions Wednesday.
  • Lazzez is taken into account a hometown athlete because the “Battle Island” occasions happen inside a quarantined space of Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, and he lives within the neighbouring emirate of Dubai.
  • Lazzez is being given a shot with the UFC as a result of a buddy of his noticed the UFC president Dana White at a restaurant in Las Vegas and confirmed White highlight-reel footage of the knockout artist.
  • White was so impressed that he signed the 31-year-old straight away.
  • Go to Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

FIGHT ISLAND — A buddy of a fighter despatched Dana White his highlight-reel of knockouts, and the UFC boss was seemingly so impressed with the footage he signed him straight away.

Mounir Lazzez recalled the story at a press occasion Monday, having solely simply stepped out of a compulsory quarantine.

Lazzez is one in all 22 athletes collaborating in the second of 4 “Battle Island” occasions inside a security zone on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the place the UFC is staging occasions till July 25.

A part of the pre-fight security procedures embrace common testing for COVID-19, temperature checks, and a 48-hour quarantine on arrival to “Battle Island.”

Lazzez solely had time for a espresso earlier than he spoke to the press forward of his UFC debut on Wednesday’s “UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige” card, he stated.

At a media occasion attended by Insider, Lazzez stated: “A buddy of mine since 2014, 2015, from Dubai … he noticed [Dana White] at a restaurant in Las Vegas and he confirmed him my highlight-reel, my title was there on the tape.

“He noticed my highlight-reel, adopted me on social media, and put me involved with [UFC matchmaker] Sean Selby.

“He provided me a direct combat on July 15. I get the message on social media. I stated, ‘Completed, I am up for it.’ And put them involved [with my management] — they bought the deal finished.

“No matter you wish to name it, exhausting work or luck, I am right here,” the 31-year-old stated.

UFC Fight Island

The “Battle Island” occasions happen behind-closed doorways at a purpose-built venue referred to as the Flash Discussion board on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Picture by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Photographs

Lazzez is an unheralded fighter worldwide as he has been competing for regional promotions in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, constructing a report of 9 wins (eight knockouts and one determination) in opposition to one loss.

The UFC has matched him competitively in opposition to a fellow knockout artist in Abdul Razak Alhassan, who has an identical report with 10 wins (10 knockouts) in opposition to one loss.

Lazzez stated: “It is a blissful second and I am proud as a result of I used to be all the time visualizing the stroll to the Octagon in Las Vegas.

“However that is my door-step; I’ve lived in Dubai for 9 or 10 years and this can be a proud second on ‘Battle Island’.”

On Alhassan as a debut opponent within the UFC, Lazzez stated: “He is a well-rounded fighter who brings the present. And that is what I would like, I do not need a straightforward contest. Present me a excessive degree and I’ll present a excessive degree as nicely.”

Although Lazzez stated he fights “calm and good” he harassed he additionally “brings plenty of violence.”

Learn extra:

The UFC gave a Brit a $50,000 bonus after he overcame a fractured jaw and damaged nostril to KO his opponent

A fighter scored a highlight-reel KO on his UFC debut and is now already concentrating on the title

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An MMA referee is going through backlash after letting a UFC veteran take a chronic, hard-to-watch, utterly pointless beating

Kamaru Usman dominated Jorge Masvidal utilizing foot stomps, grappling in opposition to the fence, and smothering on the mat