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Arab legend and BRAVE CF 81 headliner Said Maalem reveals he didn't want MMA career at first: 'It's like a drug'

A two-time title challenger, the Algerian superstar is now on the cusp of another world title shot in what could be a career-defining stretch of fights.

Said Maleem

Black Belt Plus

For someone who started off MMA with no intentions of competing, Mohammed Said Maalem's success in the sport has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Said Maleem will be making his return to BRAVE Combat Federation when he fights Erko Jun in the main event of BRAVE CF 81 in Slovenia. 

The fight will mark Said’s return to the organization after a short gap and at the same time, it is a high stakes fight for the veteran who hopes to secure one last opportunity to fight for the Light Heavyweight title. 

''L'Ambiance'', who proudly represents Algeria, has already headlined two BRAVE CF events with this fight at BRAVE CF 81 set to be his third main event in the fastest-growing global organization. 

Despite his current status as an MMA superstar, his journey into the MMA world was not predestined. In fact, it was a path that he stumbled upon out of his passion for the sport.

‘’To be honest, I never expected to be a fighter in MMA, let alone become champion, even for a few weeks. I never even thought one day I would be headlining such a big event like BRAVE CF. I started my journey in MMA just for the love of the sport,” Said recalls.

Once Said found himself in the mix of things, he came to the realization that the world of MMA is where he belonged. 

“I simply trained and enjoyed myself. I was fascinated with all the different techniques, with no desire or thought to become professional. What mattered the most for me, at the time, was to be practicing the sport that I loved. But then, I fought one time, and fought again, and kept fighting. I feel like fighting is a drug, and I’m addicted to it. There’s no way out. I need to indulge myself,” he said. 

After starting off his fighting career in the European MMA circuit, Said received global attention when he made his debut in BRAVE Combat Federation at BRAVE CF 33 against Todd Stoute. Stoute, at that time, was highly regarded in the Light Heavyweight division and despite going in as an underdog, Said secured a career-changing win in that fight to announce his arrival.

He then secured another big victory, this time over Zvonimir Kralj before kickstarting his iconic rivalry with Mohammed Fakhreddine which remains as an unfinished chapter in his career. 

Currently 12-5 in his professional MMA career, Said has achieved some remarkable things for someone who started out MMA without the intention of competing. 

As he returns at BRAVE CF 81, Said is now presented with the challenge posed by Erko Jun, who himself is in search of the Light Heavyweight World Title. 

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