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June 20 2021 7:43 AM ˚

MMA fighter shares uphill battle en route to international acclaim

Nart Abida
(Photo: Handout from Nart Abida)
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AMMAN — Every morning, Jordanian MMA fighter Nart Abida wakes up for his morning exercise to help prepare him for a day of personal training sessions. Later at night, Abida comes home from a long day of work for a second round workouts before bed.اضافة اعلان

The athlete, who holds a BA in tourism management from the Hashemite University, has managed to turn what was once nothing more than hobby into a career path and a source of income.

In an interview with Jordan News, Abida said:  I like individual, challenging sports that not many can play, in order for me to stand out in and excel.”

According to Abida, injuries play a big part in disparaging prospective MMA fighters.

“Sometimes, athletes can end a fight without any injuries or minimum injuries,” he explained. “Whereas sometimes, a fighter may sustain major injuries resulting from knockouts, which may take the fighter around six months to recover from, as well as concussions, broken bones, and many more which may or may not require surgery,” the strongman explained.

Like most of his peers, Abida lamented the impact of COVID-19 on athletes, especially amid lockdowns and the closure of gyms over the past one-and-a-half years.

 But these challenges were nothing more than minor setbacks to Abida and his team.

 “COVID-19 didn’t stop us from fighting. We even had a championship that lasted over the span of six months, during the time of COVID-19,” the fighter recalled.

According to Abida, being an MMA fighter is a way of life. He said that the sport shifted his mentality, making him more self-disciplined and organized.

“MMA doesn’t require a fighter to have a tough personality as a person in general, only to be tough while sparring,” Abida said, adding: “The fighter’s character differs when he’s inside the cage from when he’s outside it.”

Abida says that what sets each fighter apart is their style in the cage.

“What makes me different is my tenacity. I try not to stick to one thing, I try different techniques in every fight,” he said.

Commenting on his role models, Abida remarked: “There are many fighters in Jordan who inspire me, such as Hashem Arkhagha, Nawras Abzakh, Jarrah Alsilawi and Jalal Da’ja, They are all Jordanians who compete on an international level and are on my team.”

Abida is expected to fight internationally on June 18th in Abu Dhabi. He is currently training with coach Taymour Narmouq and coach Ali Alta’mari on team Gladiator.

According to the young fighter, the upcoming tournament could be a turning point in his MMA career.

“This will be my first fight international fight. It will push me to the next level,” he said.

Abida denied the notion that MMA has declined in popularity in Jordan.

“On the contrary, when the sport first came to the Middle East from Europe, it came to Amman. Amman is known as the capital of MMA in the Middle East,” he stressed.

His most memorable moment so far was when he fought in the AFL (Arab Fight League) championship and won first place. “I (went through) five fights in six months. Every three weeks there was a fight. Thank God I won first place, it was the happiest moment of my athletic career”.

“I advise the people who want to start this sport to always be persistent, never quit training and to have a strong will because anything is possible and they can achieve what they want through continuous training.”

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