UFC-veteran, “I will never be able to return”

UFC fighter Reza Madadi takes on an Israeli fighter in a grappling match. As a result, he may never be able to return Iran, his place of birth.

Reza “Maddog” Madadi, sporting a pair of shorts in the Iranian colors

Reza Madadi, was born in Iran, but came with his parents to Sweden as a child. He has dual nationalities but may, after November 16th, never be allowed to return to Iran. That’s when he takes on relatively unknown Israeli fighter Mose Ben Shimol in what’s billed a No Gi Superfight for AK Fighting Championships.

Just over a month ago during the Judo World Championships in Tokyo Iranian Judoka Saed Mollaeu was told to throw his semi-final match to avoid having to face an Israeli in the final. He refused, came up short, and now fears for his safety. This sparked Madadi to action.

Madadi fought 20 professional MMA bouts, seven of which in the UFC before retiring two years ago. While a return to MMA seems unlikely for the 41 year old this will be a return to his grappling routs. He started out as a wrestler in both Greco-Roman and freestyle. During the press-conference yesterday he said that this fight is a statement. He wants to point out that “We are all human, no matter origin”. He doubts that he will ever be allowed to return to Iran.

AK Fighting Championships takes place on the 16th of January in Stockholm. It is a mixed event displaying grappling, MMA, and Muay Thai. The promotion has also managed to secure Alexander Gustafssons return to Martial Arts a month later. For Reza Madadi the fight itself, against Ben Shimol (2-0 MMA), is probably of little importance, yet it means everything.