Posted by Mark
Cheick Kongo, Cyrille Diabate, Greg Babene, Mishal Abul
Every now and then I like to highlight Kuwaiti talent and achievements and I believe that Mishal Abul fits the bill. He is a partner at Paradigm Sports Management, a US based company that manages Football, Baseball and MMA athletes. I met Mishal through my blog sometime back and since I’m a huge UFC fan I was shocked to find out he was managing UFC stars like Michael Bisping and Chris Lytle among others.
Mishal was always into combat sports, he wrestled in high school back in the US as well as college. He got into MMA in 1998 because of the UFC and because of his trainer John “The Machine” Lober who was a pioneer of the MMA scene with a background in Jeet Kun Do, Grappling and BJJ. Mishal is probably the first Kuwaiti to train in MMA.
Jake Shields, Mishal Abul, Tareq Azim
I asked him about MMA in the region and if the UFC is considering bring The Ultimate Fighter to the Middle East like how they did TUF Brazil and the upcoming TUF India. This is what he had to say:
MMA is still way too young for the entire Middle East to recognize it, understand it and accept it. Fighting from a professional position is already here with Karate, Boxing, Muay Thai now they need to learn MMA, the best form of martial arts. There are already some locals or in the region who have trained and are becoming teachers.
Sending TUF to the Middle East is in the plans but not right now that’s because the mentality of the population within the Middle East is not the same as elsewhere with a history of combat sports which usually belongs to other large countries where it would boom immediately like Brazil, Russia and parts of Asia. But, I do believe the Middle East as a whole has some huge potential of breeding the best MMA competitors in the world. Parts of the Middle East strongly train in Karate, some other parts in wrestling or even Judo. Countries like Iran who are naturally strong could develop some amazing wrestlers which is the best base to begin with to enter MMA.
As a UFC fan I think it’s very cool to have a Kuwaiti managing UFC fighters. If you want to find out more about Paradigm Sports Management you can visit their website [Here]