Welcome to Saracens MMA 2020: A Year in Review Part Three! Don’t forget to check out Part One and Part Two where you can find out all about the progress the new breed of Saracens MMA fighters, as well as some of the team’s biggest names and best fighters.
Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress made the announcement early this year that he had signed a deal with ONE Championship to compete on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. His first task under the ONE Warrior Series banner would not be an easy one – hugely experienced international veteran Alan ‘The Apprentice’ Philpott boasted several high level victories including for BAMMA, Absolute Championship Berkut (now ACA), and was riding a two-fight win streak on the Warrior Series itself. It was assumed one more victory would bring him the biggest contract of his career – a multi-fight deal to compete on ONE Championship’s flagship shows.
But fate had other plans. Instead of the hard-earned graduation of ‘The Apprentice’, this would be a crowning moment in the career of ‘The Prince’. With the weight of a nation on his shoulders, Ahmed prepared for battle in his native Cairo with Saracens MMA at the SBA Academy, a departure from previous fight camps in Thailand. It’s fair to say that Faress had plenty of doubters. From the outside looking in, Faress had dominated the sport in a country that had yet to flourish fully, despite the success of team mates like Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir, Alaa ‘Thor’ Mansour and Eslam ‘Iron Man’ Syaha. After a few outings in Brave Combat Federation, Ahmed would find himself against an opponent with more than three times the number of fights of anyone he’d faced before.
It was a monumental task on paper; but Ahmed’s unerring confidence in his skills combined with the belief he had to make a statement on the biggest stage of his career made this a now-or-never encounter.
Ahmed’s game plan was smart, it’s execution flawless. Closing the distance after a back-and-forth striking exchange, Ahmed turned up the pressure with a clinch, before tripping Philpott to the ground and establishing top position. Philpott, much as he had done on tape during previous fights, defended himself before giving up the back. Still early in the fight, Philpott was able to get back to his feet, but only while carrying Faress on his back.
With a 100% finishing rate, including 12 submissions, Ahmed was in his element – and as he cranked in the rear naked choke, Philpott swiftly ran out of options and ideas. Once he had tapped, cornerman Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir would scream with delight, run into the cage and embrace Faress – what so many in Egypt had thought impossible had become a reality.
Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress had put the country on the world map in one of the biggest promotions in existence.
At Brave Combat Federation 41, Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir competed for the promotion for an incredible eighth time. Having been with Brave CF since the very first show, the Saracens and KHK representative took on the Republic of Ireland’s Cian Cowley as he sought a second consecutive win.
With a rear naked choke submission over Yousef Wehbe in December of 2019, Amir extended an unbeaten streak to three straight fights, factoring in a draw with England’s Sam Patterson the previous April.
At his tenacious best, Amir pressured Cowley from the off, mixing up the levels with takedowns, clinches and strikes to put the Irishman on the back foot. While Cowley refused to succumb to ‘The Butcher’s’ torturous forward pressure and cardio-sapping intensity, Ahmed Amir was able to take a clear Unanimous Decision victory to close out a successful 12 month period.
Since the fight, Ahmed Amir has made it clear that he is back in the hunt for the 155 lbs title, a belt that transferred from Cleiton ‘Predador’ to Amin Ayoub in November 2020. One thing is for sure, the Frenchman will have his hands full with the surging ‘Butcher’!
Please join us for Part Four of Saracens MMA: A Year in Review soon as we take a look at a year of real personal challenges for one of the team’s star fighters – Islam ‘The Egyptian Zombie’ Reda.