Along with its rebranding, UAE Warriors crowned three inaugural champions on Friday night. The Middle Eastern organization had its sixth event at the Mubadala Arena and it went off without a hitch.
Tarek Suleiman entered the main event of UAE Warriors 6 with the tough task of facing off against the much larger and more experienced Oli Thompson. He passed this test with flying colors to capture the light heavyweight title.
Although the Tiger Muay Thai product was moving up a weight class and losing a power advantage, Suleiman used forward pressure and his quick hand speed to pepper Thompson. The striking was coming with relative ease for Suleiman to kick off the first round.
He connected with multiple combinations and had Thompson eating punches without much to answer back. Despite the Brit getting back to his feet, Suleiman was able to dump his opponent on his back twice and control from top to win the round comfortably.
After exerting so much energy in the first period, Suleiman looked somewhat gassed entering the second but that all changed when they started to engage. The first minute or so had both athletes throwing strikes yet nothing landing with significance.
When Thompson seemed stunned from a short left hook, Suleiman lunged forward for a single leg and put him on the canvas. With no response to the top pressure of Suleiman, Thompson uncharacteristically tried for a heel hook and got himself into a terrible spot.
Suleiman found himself in top position and capitalized ruthlessly. The Syrian pounded down a myriad number of elbows and punches until the referee stepped in to call the action.
The 29-year-old picks up the biggest win of his career and claims the UAE Warriors heavyweight title with a finish over Thompson. Suleiman moves his record to 8-5 while his opponent drops to 19-11.
The co-main event between Amin Ayoub and Ahmad Labban was a grudge match with emotions running wild due to some pre-fight trash talk.
Both fighters exchanged leg kicks to kick off the action and then Ayoub caught a headkick attempt and took the fight to the ground. While on his back, Labban did a phenomenal job holding on and limiting the attacks of Ayoub.
Once Labban realized the referee was not going to stand up the fight, he slid out the side and took top position. But Ayoub transitioned beautifully into an armbar that his adversary did not see coming.
After a few punches to the face and a little adjustment to the submission attempt, Ayoub had Labban in deep trouble. The Lebanese fighter tried to squeeze out but once Ayoub put the arm behind the armpit and extended his hips, the tap came immediately.
The 23-year-old Amin Ayoub (12-4) is the new welterweight champion and the winner of his last six out of seven. Meanwhile, Labban (7-2) loses for the first time since late 2017.
In the third title fight of the night, UFC veteran Rolando Dy took on Kazahkstan’s Yerzhan Yestanov for the featherweight strap. The contest went all twenty-five minutes with limited action throughout most of the rounds with Dy picking up the championship belt with a unanimous decision.
With a massive crowd in attendance to support him, Dy stalked Yestanov for most of the fight. Due to the fact that the Filipino was looking to counter and his opponent using lateral movement to find openings, there were long periods during rounds with little to no significant action.
The most impactful moments for Dy occurred in the first and third rounds. In both instances, the Filipino dropped his foe with one solid strike but did not pounce and allowed Yestanov to stay out of any particular danger.
At around the four-minute mark in the first frame, Dy planted a knee into the cranium of Yestanov and had him badly hurt. But in a mental error, Dy stepped away looking for the ref to step in and did not go for the finish.
Yestanov, he spent most of the fight running which would have done little to enhance his case for a decision win from the judges. In the final round, he timed a perfect takedown at the center of the cage.
The Kazakh was able to keep his opponent on the mat to win the round but Dy knew that he had taken the fight on the scorecards so there was no urgency to get back up.
With more significant strikes landing and cage control, Dy (12-7-0-1) has the featherweight belt wrapped around his waist. The Filipino has won two out of two since his second UFC stint ended whileÂ Yestanov drops to 16-8-1.