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When you meet the Yemeni-Saudi wrestler, Osama Al-Maroui, you will not feel that you are interviewing a martial arts champion and the “lion” of jiu-jitsu in the Middle East. He is a shy, quiet person who always smiles. He is confident in himself and believes in his ability to achieve a historic achievement in the largest event in combat sports. In the Arab region, which Qatar will host - next Friday - at the Losail Sports Circuit.

Al-Maroui, the first black belt holder from the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation in the Middle East, dreams of achieving victory over Brazilian star Cleber de Souza, nicknamed “Clandestino,” in a submission wrestling match in the flyweight category.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera Net, the Yemeni-Saudi champion expressed great enthusiasm and anticipation for the competition and achieving his first victory in this huge event, which is being held by the “One” Championship, the leading martial arts tournament, for the first time on Arab soil after the huge show hosted by the United States on May 5. Last May.

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Al-Maroui (31 years old) said, “My feeling is indescribable. I am very excited about this first participation in the Middle East, since I obtained my black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2022. I am looking forward to appearing at the Lusail Arena and I will achieve victory, God willing.”

The American Athos Academy wrestler, who is seeking his first victory under the umbrella of the One Fighting Organization, considers that competing on Arab soil to be a motivating matter for him and that the support of Arab fans will constitute a strong moral motivation for him against the strong wrestler Souza.

He added, "The competition between my fans and on Arab soil pushes me to double my effort in training in preparation for victory over Sousa, God willing."

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"The strategy to defeat Souza"

Al-Maroui, who specializes in jiu-jitsu in the United States of America, confirmed that Souza is a difficult wrestler, and explained that “he has known him for a long time and has good experience, so I began preparing for this fight more than 3 months ago with the brothers Kayed and Tai Rotolo, who are world champions in the sport of lightweight submission wrestling.” And the middle, respectively.

Al-Maroui did not hide how much he benefited from training alongside the Rotolo brothers, led by coach Andre Galvao. “Having the trio next to me in training is very important. We planned together to follow a game plan or strategy that would lead me to victory over Sousa.”

Al-Maroui revealed part of it, “One of the plans is to use the cage to my advantage during the competition... The cage has a major role in submission wrestling, and I realized this during my previous confrontation with the American Mikey Musumeshi (the world featherweight champion in jiu-jitsu).

Al-Maroui lost by submission in his first fight against the champion Musumeshi, nicknamed “Darth Rigatoni.”

Regarding the strengths of his opponent, Souza, Al-Maroui said, “He is a fast-moving wrestler with extensive experience in jiu-jitsu that extends for more than 6 years, but I will strive to subdue him and obtain a performance bonus of $50,000.”

The Brazilian wrestler had previously stated that he would receive the first $50,000 in the “One” Championship from Al-Maroui portal, to which he responded via Al-Jazeera Net, “I do not expect that. The financial prize will be my share, God willing.”

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“I will pass on my experience to future generations.”

After becoming the first wrestler in the Middle East to obtain a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2022, Al-Maroui confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net that his popularity has risen greatly among Jiu-Jitsu fans in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Arab countries.

He said, "Frankly, I did not know that I had an impact on the Arab public except through increasing the number of encouraging messages and requests to be added on social media sites. This is something that drives me to make more efforts to meet the aspirations of everyone who supports and encourages me from various Arab countries."

Because the Arab passion for combat sports is increasing, Al-Maroui revealed to Al-Jazeera Net his future plan that aims to spread the sport of submission wrestling in the Arab region, by establishing academies specialized in this distinctive combat sport, as he described it.

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He pointed out, "My goal, God willing, in the future, is to open several sports clubs in various Arab countries, using my long experience that I gained with the famous (Athos) club and the great coach Andre Galvao. I will pass on my experience to future generations, and God willing, I will discover Arab talents and help them become "World champions."

Al-Maroui concludes that the Arab wrestler does not lack anything to reach the international level. “Five or 10 years ago, the Arab wrestler lacked support, but today combat sports players get everything.. I believe that in the next five years all eyes will be on the Arab champions in martial arts.” ".

Source: Al Jazeera