EXCLUSIVE: “I go and then kill this guy” – Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al-Qahtani Wants to Give His Home Fans a Fight to Remember Against India’s Edukondal Rao

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Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat Banerjee is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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Abdullah Al-Qahtani- an up-and-rising name right out of the Saudi Arabian MMA scene, has been garnering all the attention for his upcoming bout in the blockbuster PFL vs. Bellator card against Indian MMA fighter Edukondal Rao on February 24 in Riyadh.

Nicknamed “The Reaper”, Abdullah boasts a professional record of 7-1-0, with 1 TKO and 1 submission win. He emerged victorious in his MMA debut against Abdullah Mohammad Ali at the Phoenix Fighting Championship – Phoenix 6: Abu Dhabi event back in April 2018. In his most recent outing in the cage, Abdullah secured a unanimous decision win over David Zelner at PFL 9: 2023 Playoffs back in August last year.

MMA India Show Exclusive Interview with Abdullah Al-Qahtani 

We got in touch with Abdullah to discuss his upcoming contest against Rao, his background in combat sports, the gym where he trains, fighting in his home for the first time, as well as his message to the fans.

How did you start your MMA career?

I started as an amateur fighter in MMA. Then I went to professional like every fighter, first to a local championship, then to the professional.

How many amateur fights did you have before turning professional?

Four.

What’s your background in martial arts? Do you do boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai? Or did you get straight into MMA?

When I started, I started to do MMA, but I started to do wrestling, and after wrestling, I did Muay Thai. Then I loved Muay Thai and I competed in Muay Thai fights, you know, MMA fights.

Did you have any professional Muay Thai fights? Because I see you are wearing the X brand. Did you have any professional Muay Thai fights as well?

Yes. I have competed in the World Cup 2022 and also the World Championship, for the World Belt.

Where are you training right now? Are you training the Saudi Arabia or
training elsewhere?

Yeah, in Saudi Arabia, in a fight club gym.

Do you know anything about your opponent, Edukondal Rao?

Yeah, I’ve seen his fights. Inshallah I’m gonna win.

How does it feel to be a part of Bellator versus PFL card? Its one of the biggest fight cards of the year.

Every card for PFL is a big card. And also now it’s PFL with Bellator. You know, it’s something crazy. It’s a honor to compete in this card and also here in Saudi Arabia. It’s something in my home. It’s something crazy.

You have fought all over the Middle East. You have fought in Abu Dhabi. You have fought in the US. How does it feel fighting in your home country after a long time?

Every time when I go out to another country, all the people there are against me, not with me. But now I’m in my home and all are with me. You know, it’s something crazy. I feel I just I want to fight. I want to show the people what they want to see. They want violence. I’ll let them see it.

How are you going to approach this fight? If you want to say, of course, if you want to reveal it, do you have any game plan in mind? How are you going to approach this fight? Or any weakness that you see in your opponent?

Every fight I go into, I’m just between the cage and you’re gonna say, ‘I want to go. I want to smash this guy.’ Then I will win, inshallah. Then I go out. This is my game plan. Just so I go and then kill this guy, then finish and win. And that’s it. This is my game plan. No matter what what he wants to do, he wants to fight in striking? I can do a good damage in this strike and then finish him. And also if he wants to go to the ground. I can finish him in the ground also. What he wants, I’m ready.

Abdullah, I just wanted to let you know, the betting odds on you are -600. Do you know what that means?

What?

The betting odds on you are minus 600. Do you know what that means?

No.

It means you are a massive betting favorite. I mean, people have to bet 600 on you to win 100 dollars. You are a massive betting favorite. So people are expecting you to not only beat this guy but finish him. Are you going for a finish?

Look, I’m not always like the finish is the key or the best thing in the fight. In the last fight, I went for three rounds, but they were crazy three rounds. If you see the fight, it’s something crazy with David Zelner. It’s three rounds of damage and blood and it’s not like I finished. Sometimes the finish is like we can’t let the people watch you. But if you have the fight to go three rounds, it’s like war. It means you’re gonna go out and go to the hospital.

Before we go Abdullah, a last message to your fans.

I want all my fans to come to watch them to watch my fight and to support me. Now in my home Saudi Arabia. I want to let you guys watch a good fight and a good bloody fight.

ALSO READ: “My Toughest Fight”- Indian MMA Fighter Edukondal Rao Is Pumped For His PFL Debut in the PFL vs Bellator Super Fight Night

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