top of page

Mehdi Zatout Excited For Dream Boxing Fight At ONE 166

Updated: Feb 28

Mehdi Zatout at ONE 166

Mehdi Zatout called it a career in 2022, but he could not have envisioned the opportunity that would soon come his way. On Friday, March 1, Zatout will meet Zuhayr Al-Qahtani in a boxing match at ONE 166: Qatar.

ONE Championship’s debut in Qatar immediately sparked enthusiasm and interest from “Diamond Heart.”

Black Belt Mag Articles

“To me, it’s amazing. When they announced it, I immediately informed my fighters [at Venum Training Camp] about it. But I never thought that I would be the one competing,” Zatout told ONE.

“It’s crazy that ONE will be in Qatar. To be part of ONE 166 is a dream for me. Knowing it’s an Arabic country, it’s also special for me.”

A major factor in Zatout’s retirement was his injuries. However, with time away from competition, he has had the time necessary to heal up and stay active, making it a prime opportunity to come back for the historic event.

“I retired because I had problems with my knees, and there was so much work. I’d just had enough. I decided to come back because I like the challenge,” Zatout remarked.

“I’m happy that Chatri [Sityodtong] and ONE offered me the fight. Despite retiring, I’ve kept myself in shape and continued to spar with all of my fighters on the team. So, why not?”

Zatout’s decision to return was also in part due to the type of bout offered to him.

As a lifelong fan of “the sweet science,” the Algerian saw his chance to finally compete in the sport.

“I was actually sad when I made my decision to retire because I really wanted to fulfill my dream of competing in boxing at least once in my career,” Zatout admitted.

Martial Art Drills

“When people saw me at events, they’d ask, ‘Mehdi, do you want to fight?’ I would usually respond, ‘Of course, but not Muay Thai or kickboxing.’ What made me say yes was when ONE offered this boxing fight.”

The bout will be contested in 10-ounce gloves. After a life spent perfecting his striking technique, Zatout will get a chance to showcase his boxing to the masses on March 1.

“A lot of people close to me know that I love boxing. I’ve always trained in boxing. Before when I sparred with the biggest names in Europe, I’d always focused on the boxing aspect. That’s why I’m good at boxing,” Zatout said.

“At the beginning, I thought we would be competing in 4-ounce gloves. That’s okay, but when I found out it’s going to be a standard 10-ounce, it became more interesting for me because it will be contested under real boxing rules with boxing gloves. It will be so exciting for me.”

ONE 166 airs live on Friday, March 1, beginning at 7:30 a.m. EST/4:30 a.m. PST.

bottom of page