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Saudi’s Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Hattan Alsaif shine at inaugural PFL MENA card in Riyadh

RIYADH: The Professional Fighters League began its historic inaugural season of PFL MENA (Middle East and North Africa) at The Green Halls in Riyadh on Friday, with athletes in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions taking center stage and securing their spots in the playoffs.

In the main event, Abdullah Al-Qahtani put on a show for his hometown fans as he impressed against Yazeed Hasanain of Jordan en route to a verbal submission win, earning himself a spot in the PFL MENA featherweight semifinals.

In the co-main event, Iraq’s Ali Taleb was a force from start to finish as he dominated Jordanian Nawras Abzakh to earn a unanimous decision win and a spot in the bantamweight semifinals. Taleb improves to 11-1 in his career.

Morocco’s Rachid El Hazoume showed off his submission skills and forced countryman Xavier Alaoui to tap out to a rear-naked choke submission in the second round. As a result, El Hazoume advanced to the bantamweight semifinals and moved to 14-3 in his career.

Islam Reda of Egypt turned in a strong performance as he defeated Morocco’s Adam Meskini by a unanimous decision to advance to the PFL MENA featherweight semifinals. The win marked Reda’s fifth straight, and it improved his career record to 11-1.

Jordan’s Jalal Al Daaja punched his ticket to the PFL MENA playoffs after edging out Sudan’s Tariq Ismail by majority draw in their bantamweight matchup. The victory pushed Al Daaja’s career record to 12-7.

Algeria’s Elias Boudegzdame was the first fighter in the bantamweight division to advance to the PFL MENA playoffs after scoring a slick second-round guillotine submission win over Egypt’s Hassan Mandour. With the win, Boudegzdame improved to 19-8 in his MMA career.

Saudi Arabia’s own Hattan Alsaif turned in a spectacular MMA debut, knocking out Egypt’s Nada Faheem with a head kick in the second round of their women’s flyweight amateur showcase bout. Alsaif has made history by becoming the first female from Saudi Arabia to sign a contract with a major MMA promotion.

Featherweight division action saw Morocco’s Maraoune Bellagouit land a powerful left hook in the third round to knock out Egypt’s Mido Mohamed and move on to the semifinals. Bellagouit remains undefeated and moves to 5-0 in his career.

In the first featherweight bout of the PFL MENA season, Jordan’s Abdelrahman Alhyasat outworked Ahmed Tarek of Egypt to win by a unanimous decision and advance to the semifinals. Alhyasat improved to 4-0 in his professional career.

Kicking off the action, Saudi Arabia’s own Malik Basahel put on a dominant performance, defeating India’s Harsh Pandya by a unanimous decision in a flyweight amateur showcase bout.

COMPLETE PFL MENA: RIYADH RESULTS

Featherweight bout:

Abdullah Al-Qahtani def. Yazeed Hasanain by verbal submission (punches) at 4:59 of round 2.

Bantamweight bout:

Ali Taleb def. Nawras Abzakh by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Bantamweight bout:

Rachid El Hazoume def. Xavier Alaoui by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:55 of round 2.

Featherweight bout:

Islam Reda def. Adam Meskini by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Bantamweight bout:

Jalal Al Daaja  def. Tariq Ismail by majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Bantamweight bout:

Elias Boudegzdame def. Hassan Mandour by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:53 of round 2.

Women’s atomweight bout, amateur:

Hattan Alsaif def. Nada Faheem by KO (head kick) at 0:41 of round 2.

Featherweight bout:

Maraoune Bellagouit def. Mido Mohamed by TKO (punch) at 4:12 of round 3.

Featherweight bout:

Abdelrahman Alhyasat def. Ahmed Tarek by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-27).

Flyweight bout, amateur:

Malik Basahel def. Harsh Pandya by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).

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