Mounir Lazzez hopes his profitable UFC debut will assist open doorways for his fellow fighters within the Center East and North Africa (MENA) area.

Tunisia’s Lazzez (10-1 MMA, 1-Zero UFC), the primary born-and-raised Arab fighter to ever get signed to the UFC, confirmed off his nicely rounded sport when he defeated knockout artist Abdul Razak Alhassan final week at UFC on ESPN 13.

Lazzez’s signing gave many fighters primarily based in MENA a glimmer of hope, probably displaying the UFC’s willingness to spend money on the area. The outpouring of help from the MENA area’s followers, media and fellow fighters put a large highlight on Lazzez, who admits it weighed on him a bit of bit, however in the end he was in a position to capitalize.

“I attempted my finest to not have that stress, however I couldn’t evade it, and thank God it had a optimistic impression on my efficiency,” Lazzez instructed MMA Junkie. “I consider what I supplied the regional MMA fighters is hope. They know they’ll make it now as a result of they noticed I may do it. I’m not going to lie: It did really feel just like the regional fighters have been ignored.

“We solely had the regional circuits, and there was by no means any curiosity from the UFC or worldwide promotions. Issues did appear to occur on the proper time, although. We’re prepared now, and we’ll present it. I’ll definitely preserve displaying and proving it.”

Coaching out of Staff Nogueira in Dubai, Lazzez has fought all throughout the Center East underneath the Desert Power, BRAVE CF and UAE Warriors banners. Desert Power has been instrumental in creating the area’s expertise, offering them a platform to pursue MMA as a full-time profession.

Loads of the area’s fighters have confirmed their capacity to compete towards expertise from everywhere in the world, and Lazzez thinks it’s solely a matter of time that these fighters will begin getting the decision to the UFC.

“Fact is, there’s a handful that may make an impression,” Lazzez mentioned. “I don’t wish to title names, however I consider the UFC is in talks with essentially the most distinguished names within the area, and I hope as many as potential make it. I hope that my efficiency exhibits that there’s potential within the area and provides hope to each the UFC and the regional MMA fighters that that is certainly a worthwhile funding.”