MBC Group and X-Management LLC, the parent company of the region’s leading Mixed Martial Arts organisation, Desert Force, have united to bring the first Arab Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Grand Prix to the Middle East.
Desert Force MMA Championship is the first Middle Eastern platform for aspiring MMA athletes to face-off regional and international fighters for the title of Middle East Desert Force Champion. The event aims to promote Arab mixed martial artists by providing them with the opportunity to showcase their skills on a regional and global level. The championship will be aired on MBC Action, the only channel in the Middle East dedicated to young Arab males.
Ali Jaber, Group TV Director, MBC Group, said: “We have seen a steady increase in the popularity of action-packed shows within this category on MBC Action; and our offering of the latest in high-octane Western shows was enjoyed by the Arab youth for many years. However, and considering the channel’s recent shift to homegrown productions, we have decided to partner with Desert Force MMA to meet our viewers’ expectations, through the region’s first-ever MMA Grand Prix.”
The Championship will host an initial series of four events per year; based on a knock-out structure, called the Grand Prix. Fighters from across the Arab World will compete in five weight classes: Featherweights, Lightweights, Welterweights, Middleweights and Light-Heavyweights. Each class will enforce the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts and see a total of eight qualifiers competing against each other. Participating countries include Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and the UAE.
From his end, Zaid Mirza, Chairman and CEO of X-Management LLC said: “Our partnership with MBC Action adds a lot of weight for the expansion of the world's fastest growing sport in the Middle East. We work closely together to revolutionize MMA in the region, and discover the best of Arab MMA talents, and ultimately promote them on a wider Global level. After the nation-wide success of the first fight, we now look forward to sharing it across the Middle East through MBC Action”.
The first event took place in the Orthodox Club in Amman, Jordan, on Friday, September 7th 2012, and will be aired on MBC Action on September 17th at 22:00KSA.Desert Force inaugural event was held on December 8th, 2010 in Amman, Jordan. In 2011, Desert Force launched the “Elimination Series”, a single-elimination tournament for Arab MMA fighters competing to become the first regional MMA title belts holders in 5 respective weight classes.