Rany Saadeh: „I earned myself a shot at the belt!“
After winning five out of six battles and fighting internationally since 2012, Berlin’s 20 year old Rany Saadeh is the hottest flyweight hailing from Germany right now. On April 5th he will step into the cage against „Persian Pride“ Mahmood Besharate at BAMMA 15 and wants to qualify for a shot at the vacant flyweight title. A belt, he thinks, that he should already be fighting for.
Groundandpound.de: On April 5th you will meet Mahmood Besharate – a seasoned striker. What do you expect?
Rany Saadeh: A very versatile fight. Despite his striking abilities, my opponent worked a lot in the clinch and on the ground in his recent fights. I expect that we will cover all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts on April 5th.
Will you dare to stand with him?
The question is, will he dare to stand with me? I fought better strikers before and it has always been them, who avoided me in the standup. Mahmood is smart enough not to risk a knock-out. And if he does however, I will be more than ready to fight him standing. But if I see an opportunity to take a fight to the ground, I usually do, because I feel even more comfortable there.
In February you told us, your next fight at BAMMA will be a title eliminator.
That is completely up to BAMMA. There are no official number-one contender fights, but with a good win against Besharate, I feel like I would deserve a shot at the belt more than any other fighter on the roster.
Why is this no title fight just yet, in the first place?
I don’t know either. But everything will fall in place, come the right time. Besharate is a good opponent, this fight will put me near a title shot. It should have happened even earlier.
Give us a prediction on the outcome.
I don’t want to give any predictions, but I plan on doing something big again.
Where do you prepare for the fight? At home in Berlin or in England?
Right now I am training all over Berlin, mainly at my homy gym IMAG. I also spent some time at Liverpool’s MMA Academy, and trained under Jason Tan, with training partners such as Pietro Menga, Mike Wootten and Aaron Aby.
How did your close bond to England come about? You have been fighting and training there for a couple of years now.
I like travelling a lot and love to meet new people. The sport of MMA is connecting people worldwide. I had my first training trip to Liverpool when I was 18 years old, that’s where I built the foundation. And I established lots of contacts with gyms, coaches and fighters ever since.
BAMMA is England’s premier MMA promotion, one of the biggest in Europe. Your debut there was impressive. How did they welcome you afterwards?
I believe they were satisfied with my performance, that’s why they offered me the five-fight contract. BAMMA seems very interested in continuing to build me up as a contender.
You once said, it has always been your dream to fight for an organization like BAMMA. You fulfilled that dream at only 20 years of age. How hard is it to stay down to earth?
Nothing has changed for me. I still live the same life, still live in Berlin, still train with the same guys and still have the same friends. It’s rather hard not to stay down to earth (laughs). Aside from that I still have lots of dreams and keep setting new goals for myself.
I want to fight in the UFC, amongst the best of the best and keep winning. Besides, I would love to fight in my hometown Berlin once again.
What a coincident that the UFC will host an event in Berlin on May 31st. That is eight weeks after a potential win at BAMMA 15. Considering that they might need a local hero for their card, would that be enough for you to be prepared?
More than enough to have a little break and be fully prepared. I am fit and in the the middle of my training camp. Should the UFC choose to ask me for their event, I am absolutely ready.
BAMMA has been a stepping stone for a lot of UFC fighters in the past. But you recently signed a five-fight deal with them. Not a problem?
I am happy to be with BAMMA. But should that change someday or should I get a better offer from another organization, I am sure that they will be very cooperative and easy to talk with.
Assuming a victory on Saturday, what else can we expect from you in 2014?
That is hard to project, we will see how this year develops. My goal is to be among Europe’s top five flyweights by the end of the year.
If you want to get in touch with Rany Saadeh, you can do via Facebook or Twitter (@RanyMMA). BAMMA 15 will take place on April 5th in London’s Copper Box Arena. Groundandpound.de will be on-site fort he event.