Beware the Black Bulls of MMA…

Founded in 2011, Black Bulls MMA out of Cairo, Egypt has gone on to produce some of the most talented mixed martial artists to be found anywhere in the Middle East. Two such individuals represent Saracens MMA, the number one sports collective in the history of North African martial arts: head coach Alaa ‘Thor’ Mansour (6-1) and long-time understudy Eslam ‘IRONMAN’ Syaha (7-1-1).

Both multiple-division champions on the Egyptian national scene, Mansour and Syaha both typify and embody the fight team’s mentality perfectly, combining an indomitable will-to-succeed with an unquenchable thirst for continuous self-improvement. To witness these men in training is to go some way to unearthing the sheer drive and determination needed to build the beginnings of an empire in somewhat unfashionable climes. While the major players in mixed martial arts are yet to cast their gaze to Cairo for whatever reason, it is the work of men like Mansour and Syaha, along with their fellow Saracens, that will eventually unlock the door not only for themselves, but also their fellow countrymen.

But what compels athletes like Mansour and Syaha to chase this dream? And what does it take to become a ‘Black Bull’ in Egypt’s capital? spoke to Alaa Mansour and Eslam Syaha ahead of their double-header at the upcoming Evolution Fighting Championship event on July 13, subtitled ‘Tsunami Aftershock’.

‘We started with a fantastic team,’ Alaa Mansour told us, ‘We decided to name it after the way we felt, and our appearance,’ he laughs. ‘We were all black, we were all muscular, and we had the mindset of bulls!’

Alongside the likes of Mahmoud ‘The Octopus’ Fawaz (8-2), Mohamed ‘Sambo’ John (3-1), Mostafa ‘Tyson’ Mohamed (3-0), Omar ElMograby (2-0) and Mohamed Shehta (3-2), Mansour and the Bulls racked up wins and dominated the competition at AUFC, one of Egypt’s top promotions. The team grew; one of the main additions to the line up coming in the form of powerlifter Eslam ‘IRONMAN’ Syaha.

“I joined the team one year after it was founded,” Eslam told “It’s a fantastic team, and a great place to train. Alaa and the other coaches are very talented and very driven, and insist on success, always.” He adds: “Black Bulls MMA is strong; the level of talent distinguishes us from other teams here, and the fact we are always looking and trying to seek ways to develop really appeals to me.”

That is a sentiment shared by Mansour himself. While he could coo over fighters like Syaha and Fawaz and the records they have achieved in MMA, ‘Thor’ remains grounded. “I don’t see a single fighter who will be the future of Black Bulls MMA – the target is to take this team to the top, not just one or two, but every single fighter that trains with us.”

Those are lofty ambitions, but it is the mark of Alaa’s character that even personal success – while an obvious driving force behind his ferocious training regimen and in-fight aggression – isn’t the be-all and end-all. Success for him is an opportunity for his training partners and students; and while Mansour has enjoyed international fame competing for Desert Force and the temporarily disbanded Phoenix FC, seeing his best fighters compete on similar (or even bigger) stages would give him just as much satisfaction.

That is one of the key reasons Mansour suits the Saracens MMA ethos. A Brotherhood of MMA, Saracens is focussed on achieving success for the many, not the few.

Syaha, for his part, has come on immensely under Mansour’s tutelage, as well as by working with the wider Saracens Team, led by Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress.

“Our link with Saracens goes back to the days before either team existed. Myself and Faress trained together in Wushu, and we had great success together.” Mansour states.

Syaha adds: “Saracens MMA is not the only team we train with, but they are good friends, and the ties between the two teams goes back a long way. They are an excellent team in practical terms, and in terms of the combat side. They have some great martial artists in their team, and they compliment Black Bulls very well. They are always looking to develop and progress; they are very ambitious.”

So, who can become a Black Bull – and how?

“We welcome anyone to come and train with the team,” Syaha responds, “We welcome people to come and take advantage of our training, and decide if we’re right for them. If they like the team and want to succeed, that’s what we’re about: developing fighters and making them better at whatever they want to do.”

Alaa agrees: “I promise that one day, people will come from all over the world to train with Black Bulls MMA. That’s my dream. People will hold their training camps at our facilities, and we will grow bigger and better.”

As for competing? At Evolution FC: Tsunami Aftershock, Alaa will face off at welterweight with Abdulla Al-Jabareen , a member of the Jordan National Kickboxing team, and a very accomplished striker. Alaa, however, will not be intimidated by any such accolades. An 11-0 kickboxer himself, Mansour will look to bring his own vicious striking game, and seek to build on his most recent win – an 11-second KO of Tunisian Abdul-Rahman Dridi in the finals of a Desert Force Middleweight Grand Prix.

Eslam, meanwhile, will face off against compatriot Waleed Gamal at middleweight, and seek to extend a six-fight winning streak. For fight fans not familiar with these two Black Bulls competing under the Saracens banner, July 13 will be a great opportunity to witness these world class athletes in action!


BJJ Black Belt Master Abdelhamed Sadik Graces Saracens MMA, Promotes Moha Gamal

A great day for Saracens MMA saw the arrival of international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master and black belt Abdelhamed Sadik in Cairo, Egypt, for a graduation ceremony at the TapouT Fighting Club facility. Sadik, based out of Torrance, California, USA, is one of the most respected BJJ practitioners in the sport, as well as a world class coach.

As recently announced, TapouT Fighting Club became an official partner of Saracens MMA, the number one Management Agency in the Middle East, and courtesy of live streaming of the event through social media, Saracens MMA fans and friends were able to watch the entire ceremony and preceding instructional tutorials play out at the venue.

Saracens MMA would like to thank Abdelhamed Sadik for sharing his knowledge and experience with the team, as well as to fellow martial artist, Mr Tameem Hamoui. Furthermore, Saracens MMA would like to congratulate Moha ‘The Executioner’ Gamal on his successful graduation and promotion to blue belt, an historic achievement for this outstanding and undefeated flyweight talent!

With Saracens MMA captain Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress playing a key role in organising this fantastic day and event at TapouT Fighting Club, would extend thanks to the 14-2 professional mixed martial artist, as well as to all that attended or watched online.

Without these outstanding athletes, Saracens MMA simply would not exist!

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Saracens MMA and TapouT Fighting Club Join Forces; Present World Class MMA Seminar


Saracens MMA is delighted to announce an official partnership with Egypt’s top training facility, TapouT Fighting Club from Cairo, Egypt.

With a brand new multi-functional training arena set for a grand opening in just three days time on June 28, TapouT Fighting Club will continue to host the nation’s finest athletes and coaches. With Saracens MMA’s Muhammad ‘Smash’ Nour already installed as head coach at the facility, and with Saracens MMA founder Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress a permanent fixture, TapouT Fighting Club has long been a crucial component of the growth and expansion of Saracens MMA as a legitimate global force.

Now, aspiring athletes will have the opportunity to join Egyptian MMA’s finest exports as top-ranked BRAVE CF veterans Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress and Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir join forces to present an intensive three-day seminar on 28, 29, and 30th of July. With limited availability, Saracens MMA encourages martial arts aficionados to sign up early in order to avoid disappointment.


Follow The Future


Here are, we are proud of what we do. We are proud of who we are, and what we represent. We believe our athletes are the future of MMA – but don’t take our word for it!

Over the coming weeks, months, even years, The Saracens like to make their mark on the great sport of Mixed Martial Arts. We have big plans with big partnerships in the works; we have big fighters in big promotions; and we are only going to get BIGGER.

Follow our fighters as we showcase online what we are about, what we do, and how we do it!

Follow Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress!

Follow Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir!

Follow Moha ‘The Executioner’ Gamal!

Follow Eslam ‘IRONMAN’ Syaha!

Follow Alaa ‘Thor’ Mansour!

Follow Mohamed ‘MVP’ Aly!

Follow Amr ‘The Falcon’ Maher!

Follow Islam ‘The Egyptian Zombie’ Reda!

Follow Ahmed ‘The Silencer’ Thabet!

Follow Hassancito ‘Rush’ AboAli!

Follow Mahmoud ‘The Hitman’ Tahoun!

Follow Eslam Tolba!

Follow Muhammad ‘The Wolverine’ Nour!

Need a reminder of who we are…?

The Prince Returns, Faces Al Boussairy of Kuwait at Phoenix 9: Dubai!

On Sunday evening, Phoenix FC President Chahe Yerevanian broke the news Saracens MMA fans have been waiting for – the return of Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress!

In his anticipated debut fight for the organisation, Cairo, Egypt’s Faress will look to wow the crowd in Dubai, UAE, and continue his hot streak of 14 finishes from 14 victories. His opponent? Kuwaiti national and six-time Desert Force veteran, Ahmad ‘Hitman’ Al Boussairy.

Faress will be looking to make up for lost time following an injury forced him out of a scheduled bout with French-Algerian featherweight Chabane Chaibeddra – so former lightweight Al Boussairy can expect to have his hands full against a hyper-motivated ‘Prince’ Faress.

Five years Faress’ senior, Al Boussairy was a 2013 Desert Force Lightweight Grand Prix finalist, where he fell at the last hurdle against then-undefeated Jordanian Haider ‘Gardena’ Rasheed. But while Al Boussairy represents an intriguing test for Faress, it’s no surprise to see the 14-2 ace in confident mood.

Faress told “I know Al Boussairy from Desert Force. He is a very good, humble fighter, and is famous as one of the first Gulf fighters. He has a good history in martial arts, and is beloved in Kuwait. I have a lot of respect for his personality, but I guarantee I will get through him.”



Islam ‘The Egyptian Zombie’ Reda Victorious at Phoenix: Road to Egypt! is delighted to announce that at Phoenix FC: Road to Egypt, undefeated lightweight sensation Islam ‘The Egyptian Zombie’ Reda overcame the odds by scoring a scintillating first round submission victory!

Whilst Reda would see his opponent changed not once, but twice, ‘The Zombie’ also had to contend with the fact that his eventual challenger, two-time African and Arabian wrestling champion, Mohamed Ghalab, weighed in at 77 kg – a full weight class higher than Reda, who successfully made the initial 70 kg requirement!

While many fighters would have rejected such a fight with no notice period, Islam came to fight. And fight he did!

Securing a takedown in the first round, Reda showed off the slick grappling skills that recently earned him a promotion to purple belt under Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Master Mohamed Fawzy, forcing a tap in short order.

With Phoenix FC staff in attendance, this was the kind of performance that underpins the reasons have huge confidence in this prodigy. We cannot wait to see what’s next for ‘The Egyptian Zombie’!

Congratulations Islam!

NEWS: Ahmed Amir and Ahmed Faress recovering, Eslam Syaha victorious in boxing, Islam Reda graduates, and Mahmoud Tahoun gets married!



  • Now that the dust has settled after Brave 11 from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, one of Saracens MMA’s top stars, Ahmed ‘The Butcher’ Amir, is looking to refocus and rebuild after only a second career defeat. While Amir’s resolve has been tested by this particular setback, Saracens MMA is sure this is just a minor blip for one of it’s most prized stars after an incredibly tough and gutsy performance. With the full support of MMA fans throughout Egypt and the wider Middle East region, including Kuwait, his second home, the lion-hearted Ahmed will come back better and stronger than ever. While Straight Blast Gym in Ireland undoubtedly left Amir with some great memories and an intensive camp, Ahmed is already being linked to yet more great training facilities for future endeavours. Stay tuned for more news on Egyptian MMA’s national hero, because we can’t wait to see what’s next for ‘The Butcher’!
  •  Ahmed ‘The Prince’ Faress continues to recover from the broken arm that prevented him from making his Phoenix FC debut against Chabanne Chaibeddra, and is now less than a month away from engaging in full training. Ahmed is grateful for the time spent at Phuket Top Team in Thailand, as well as the medical assistance afforded him by doctors at home and abroad. No doubt fans are waiting with great anticipation to see how Faress will face inside the Phoenix cage!
  • Eslam ‘IRONMAN’ Syaha out-boxed and out-performed his opponent Walid Tyson en route to a crushing victory. Arguably Saracens MMA’s most intimidating figure, Syaha, along with head coach Alaa Mansour of Black Bulls MMA in Cairo, is looking for yet greater opportunities on the international MMA scene. Stay tuned for more information…
  • Saracens MMA would like to say a huge congratulations to Islam ‘The Egyptian Zombie’ Reda upon his graduation to purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! A truly outstanding student of Master Muhammad Fawzy, Reda was last seen easily submitting an opponent at a recent Evolution BJJ event, and we’ve been saying for some time that the sky is the limit for ‘The Zombie’!
  • Amr Maher has returned to Egyptian soil from Thailand as he takes a little time out amid some exciting rumours about a potential next destination – and he might just address a long-standing issue with a nose problem stemming from a break a while back. We’ll keep you posted on that one.
  • Saracens MMA will have HUGE NEWS regarding an official partnership very soon! Keep watching this space – you will not want to miss it!
  • Finally, a HUGE congratulations to ‘The Most Marketable Man in the Middle East’ – while preparing fight choreography for a film out in Thailand, Mahmoud ‘The Hitman’ Tahoun got married! Sorry ladies – one of Saracens MMA’s star athletes has tied the knot!