UAE: MMA fighters face off in Abu Dhabi hospital to thank Covid frontliners

Abu Dhabi - A grand stage was set up on the hospital while Covid-19 protocols were followed during the event.

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 20 Jun 2021, 6:23 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Jun 2021, 7:24 PM

In a rare instance, a hospital in Abu Dhabi hosted the mixed martial arts’ (MMA) traditional face-off – an intense stare down event between fighters prior to their bouts inside a steel cage.

Usually, such an event is being held at a sports arena but the UAE Warriors, a local MMA promotion, picked Burjeel Medical City as a gesture of thanks to all the frontliners and healthcare professionals for their tireless efforts amid the pandemic.

“We have been running the UAE Warriors for almost 3 years now. Therefore, choosing a hospital as the stage for fighters’ face-offs is our display of gratitude to the healthcare workers. These events could not have been held during these difficult times if it weren’t for these brave men and women who soldiered on when the world was going through one of the toughest periods faced by humanity in recent history,” said Fouad Darwish, managing director of Palm Sports, which manages UAE Warriors.

A grand stage was set up inside the hospital for the event while following the Covid-19 protocols. The fighters were welcomed at the hospital amid rousing reception from frontline health workers. And each face-off was cheered by the healthcare workers.

“Such events bring a lot of positive energy during these challenging times. We firmly believe that conducting such events at the hospital would help patients forget their pain and distress. The UAE Warriors face-off was a unique experience for all of us,” said John Sunil, CEO of Burjeel Hospitals.

Patients were elated to see MMA stars like Mohammad Osseili, Samir Zaidi and Ali Taleb.

“It was a novel experience to be a part of such an event while undergoing treatment at the hospital,” said Mohamed Masood.

“I am a mixed martial arts enthusiast, and this event gave me a rare experience of meeting my favourite fighters, including the title winner Osseili.”

In the main event held later at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena, Osseili beat Zaidi and Taleb knocked out Mohamed El Mesbahi.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

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