The first-ever Olympic athlete to fight for Brave CF, Mahmoud Sebie, has shared how his mixed martial arts journey has re-ignited his passion for competition, as he prepares to get back into it when he takes on Oussema Zeidi in a super lightweight bout next week at Brave CF 71 in Bahrain.
“The Prince of Egypt” has reached the highest level in sport being a former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler who represented his country at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.
While he still maintains a great passion for wrestling, he describes his transition to mixed martial arts as a “crazy” journey and has loved every moment since making his professional debut in 2021.
“Wrestling was not exciting to me anymore,” said Sebie, who is set to make his third appearance inside the Brave CF cage after two dominant performances at Brave CF 67 and 69.
“I wanted to do something that woke me up in the morning. I was involved in wrestling for more than 17 years, so I came to a point where I wanted to do something closely associated with wrestling but where I learned more.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know everything in wrestling, nobody knows everything, but I wanted more of a challenge, and there’s a wide variety of dynamics involved in this beautiful sport of mixed martial arts.”
Sebie was one of Egypt’s star Greco-Roman athletes, but after the Olympics, things went a little south. After facing issues at home, he focused on his training in the United States, where he currently resides.
It was a dark time for Sebie, who was considering bringing the curtain down on his sporting career. But deep down, he always knew he was a natural competitor. He then opted to remain active in wrestling, as he kept his options open.
At the time, he had been training with Team USA’s Olympic wrestling group, however, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and subsequently delayed the Tokyo Olympics, Sebie grew tired of all the issues he was facing within wrestling and decided to walk away from the sport.
Not long after, a friend convinced him to take up MMA. Since making the transition, the 30-year-old has established himself as a fighter with a bright future despite his relative lack of experience inside the cage. In six fights, he has racked up four wins and two losses in some of the biggest promotions in the world.
“I love the learning process involved in mixed martial arts, the skills and drills,” he said.
“The more work you put in, the closer you get to your goal. And the crazy part is, it’s paying off more than wrestling. What I make in a fight now, I didn’t even make in my entire wrestling career!
“Let me just clear the air though, the Olympics was the biggest moment of my life, I think it’s the pinnacle of any sporting person’s life. It’s the biggest event in the world, and every TV channel from every country is there streaming it. That pressure of knowing the world is watching your every move added to why I loved it so much, and that is why I am so grateful I found mixed martial arts too, because it’s not only as competitive and high-pressure as wrestling, it’s rewarding in so many aspects as well.”
Now Sebie is excited for the latest chapter of his athletic career as he looks to progress toward championship contention in the Brave CF super lightweight division.
“Brave Combat Federation gives me a platform to perform, and people are excited to watch me,” he explained.
“How they celebrate my victories at Brave CF, this makes me happy, the competitiveness of it and knowing the world is watching you is incredible. It makes me so happy knowing I am changing this sport now.
“In the past, most individuals were watching soccer, and now I can make them sit in a coffee shop and watch me fight. This is crazy. I feel like the man of the moment. Yes, the money is good, but it’s about more than money and fame. I have everything I need in my life.
“Like wrestling, MMA is about legacy and history for me, and that is what drives me. I just pray God protects me and keeps me on the right path as I am enjoying what I am doing.”
Brave CF 71: Confirmed fight card
- Omar Solomanov vs. Ilyar Askhanov
- Velimurad Alkhasov vs. Nicholas Hwende
- Abbas Khan vs. Omar Hussein
- Mahmoud Sebie vs. Oussama Zeidi
- Ramazan Gitinov vs. Abderrahman Errachidy
- Khamzat Maaev vs. Elias Farah
- Maysara Mohamed vs. Ruel Panales
- Abdullah Al-Yaqoob vs. Kenneth Maningat