PFL bolsters roster with clutch of exciting Middle Eastern fighters

Jarrah Al-Silawi helped pave the way for fighters from the region to reach the global stage

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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Mohammad Fakhreddine of Lebanon. (Facebook)
Mohammad Fakhreddine of Lebanon. (Facebook)

Published: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 1:17 AM

Cashing in on the recent emergence of Middle Eastern mixed martial arts (MMA) talent, the US-based Professional Fighters League (PFL) has signed up a number of top fighters from the Arab world.

The fighter who put the region on the PFL’s radar was none other than Jordanian welterweight Jarrah Al-Silawi who stormed onto the league’s ranks through the 2022 PFL Challenger Series.

Although Al-Silawi’s debut season hit a road block earlier this year he had by then proven to the league, and the MMA world, that Arab fighters could compete with the sport’s top-tier righters.

Clearly, Silawi’s success in the PFL helped open the doors for more Middle Eastern talents to grab the spotlight on the global stage.

Headlining the PFL’s new batch of Middle Eastern fighters is Lebanon’s Mohammad “The Latest” Fakhreddine, perhaps one of the biggest stars in the region.

Fakhreddine is the current reigning middleweight and light heavyweight champion in BRAVE, the Middle East’s most popular regional promotion.

The striking specialist owns a 15-4 professional record, with 12 of those wins coming by way of KO or TKO. Fakhreddine is coming off a two-fight win streak, and is regarded as an exciting addition to the PFL’s 205-pound roster. He is expected to make his debut at PFL 8 on August 13 in Cardiff, Wales.

Also signing with the PFL is undefeated bantamweight Ali Taleb, who represents Iraq and Sweden. Untested in seven professional bouts, Taleb is the reigning UAE Warriors Bantamweight Champion, having captured the title back in March of 2022.

Six of Taleb’s seven career wins have come by stoppage, with four knockouts and two submissions. He is set to make his PFL debut against Kenji Bortoluzzi at PFL 9 on August 20 in London.

Another fighter with championship experience, Tarek Suleiman, will also be heading over to the PFL. The only mixed martial artist to come out of Syria, Suleiman captured gold in UAE Warriors as a light heavyweight, but will be competing in the PFL’s stacked welterweight division.

He owns a 12-8 professional record, with an impressive 92% finishing rate (5 knockouts, 6 submissions). Coming in with a background in wrestling, Suleiman should be a tough test for the PFL’s 170-pound division.

Hard-hitting heavyweight Hatef “Boss” Moeil is also set to make his PFL debut this season. Representing Iran and Germany in the cage, Moeil owns a 12-4 professional record with nine wins coming by way of KO or TKO.

Moeil is the current King of Kings Heavyweight Champion, and has notable wins over former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez and James McSweeney. Moeil enters the SmartCage for the first time against Szymon Bajor at PFL 8.

Arguably the most popular fighter to come out of Saudi Arabia is light heavyweight Mostafa Rashed Neda who will soon bring his talents to the PFL stage. Boasting a 7-2 professional record, Neda is riding a three-fight winning streak and has four knockout wins to his name. Neda was also a former Desert Force Light Heavyweight Champion.

Rounding out the PFL’s newest Middle Eastern signings is up-and-coming Egyptian welterweight Mahmoud “Prince of Egypt” Sebie. Sebie comes in with a 3-1 slate, with all of his wins coming by TKO. Before making the jump to MMA, Sebi was a 2016 Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling.

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