Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

Former UFC star Austin Arnett determined to 'make a good impression' at UAE Warriors 10

American, 28, takes on Algeria's Elias Boudegzdame in Friday's co-main event in Abu Dhabi

Austin Arnett has fought four times in the UFC and makes his UAE debut at Warriors 10 in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Austin Arnett has fought four times in the UFC and makes his UAE debut at Warriors 10 in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Austin Arnett is looking to put his name back up in lights when he makes his MMA debut in Friday's UAE Warriors 10 co-main event in Abu Dhabi.

The American, 28, was released from mixed martial art's most lucrative organisation - the UFC - last year and makes his UAE debut against Algeria's Elias Boudegzdame in a featherweight contest on the 10-fight card at Mubadala Arena.

Arnett, who has won 16 of his 22 MMA bouts, said he is keen to make "a good impression" on his Warriors bow and said he was determined to get back to winning ways after dropping a decision to Shane Young at UFC 234 in Melbourne in February 2019.

“I was looking at the options. The Warriors came up and I jumped at the opportunity,” Arnett told The National on the sidelines of the Warriors 10 launch on Wednesday.

“I’m super excited of this new opportunity and obviously want to make a good impression on my debut in the Warriors fight card.

“I meeting a tough chap with a jiu-jitsu background. I’m sure he’ll try to take me down but I’m ready to defend that on the ground and do whatever I need to do to win.

“I doubt he’ll want to strike with me too much. That will go pretty bad for him.”

Arnett says he has been impressed with his dealings with the UAE Warriors, praising the organisation for “looking after the fighters” and that it “it has been a great experience” so far.

“I have got a one-fight contract and after this I’ll go back and think what’s next for me,” he said.

“I’m a martial artist and just want to compete and that’s what I love to do. I want to keep this going for as long as I can.

“My dad owned a martial arts [Shotokan karate] school and I grew up doing it as a child. Later on, I practiced kick boxing and jiu-jitsu, and it kind of evolved from there.”

Seb Eubank, son of Britain's former world super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank, is on the undercard making his MMA debut.

Eubank, who has been living in Dubai for the past four years, meets Mohamed El Mokadem in the catchweight 80-kilogram fight .

Top of the bill is the super heavyweight contest between Lebanon's Roman Wehbe (7-7) and Maciej Sosnowski (17-6) of Poland.

Meanwhile, Fouad Darwish, president of the UAE Warriors, announced a partnership agreement with the US-based Professional Fighters League (PFL) to stage a PFL International Qualifier Series event at 11th edition of the Warriors in March.

“The UAE Warriors will host a four-man featherweight tournament in Abu Dhabi,” Darwish said.

“The eventual winner being awarded a season-long contract with the American promotion and the chance to compete for the grand prize of US$1 million at Madison Square Garden.

“This exciting partnership propels us towards delivering on our commitment to provide regional talent with an international launch pad to stardom.

“We are confident that the resounding impact of the opportunity will further enhance the exposure and success of MMA in the Middle East.”

Updated: January 30, 2020 03:03 PM

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