THE FIRST EVER OMAN FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP (OFC)
‘The Rise of the Champions’ took place in Muscat recently; the tickets to which were sold out two weeks leading up to the event. Sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Federation, the event was the first of its kind in Oman and created an exciting platform for local fighters and martial artists to showcase their talents. Officials from the World Kickboxing Federation also attended the event that was held in Qurum (The Jungle Restaurant) to ensure it complied with international standards and provided unbiased judging and refereeing during the event.
The OFC was organized by The Agency Design and Promo Works (Modern Lifestyle Co.), who’s Owner - Reza Mostofi thanked the sponsors - Bank Sohar, City Cinema, The Sultan Centre, My Urban Swagga, MuscArt, the Engine Room, Innovation Group, The Champ Fitness Club and Pasha Projects for their tremendous support and encouragement of the event. He went on to say, “The support from the sponsors went a long way in making the event successful; we look forward to inviting them to support our future events as well.”
OFC is a newly established initiative launched under The Agency Design & Promo Works (Modern Lifestyle Co.) and is open to all full contact clubs in Oman. The event saw K1 kickboxing and boxing fights; with organizers hoping to add Ju Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Capoeira and full Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to future events.
With seven bouts in total, ‘Rise of the Champions’ saw local martial artists being put to the ultimate test in the ring. The winners of the first installment of the OFC include Hamood Al Tuhami from the Oman Kickboxing Club who won the four round OFC Middleweight Championship Title; Najeeb Al Khalady from the Rolling Gym who won the co-main fight; Sulhil Chalapron from 3MAC; Abdullah Al Jabri from Oman Kickboxing Club; Hussain Jahjah from Rev GX; and Ammar Al Balushi from Oman Kickboxing Club.
The long-awaited event attracted a local, regional and international crowd and the charged atmosphere left everyone wanting more. Former British and World Kickboxing Champion, Jeff Simpson, travelled from the UK for the event and said “The atmosphere was electric and it was by far the most organized and most exciting amateur event I have attended in the last 10 years.”
Former World WKBF full contact champion and K1 Max World Champion, Najmeddin the Scorpion, attended from Dubai and said, “This was an excellent debut event for the country and I wish all the best to the organizers and participants. I have no doubt I will seem them soon in Dubai competing against other national titles.”
A student spectator stated, “The event was beyond what I expected. The quality of all the fighters is something we are very proud of. It has definitely encouraged me to train more and maybe even compete in future events.”
“In its first year, the event has showcased a promising future for competitions of this nature in Oman. The event’s promotion team and participants executed the action-packed event with finesse, and ensured that it was thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees, including the officials representing International WKBF”, said Dee from the WKBF.
Baqar Haider, President of OFC explained; “We organized the OFC with the vision of launching a platform for all the local fighters and seeing the Oman flag flying high at an international full combat sporting event in the coming years. This event would not have been possible without the participation of the martial arts clubs in Oman and the sponsors. This was a team effort with fighters putting long training hours in, coaches preparing their fighters for the event and organizers, volunteers and sponsors showing their commitment and dedication to the event and the sport. We are thrilled with how the evening went. The fighters were disciplined and the crowd were entertained to the very last ring of the bell.”
He went on to say, “We are hoping this first event will inspire others to get involved in martial arts and also create a pathway to have the sport formally recognized so that Omani fighters can represent the country in regional and international events in the future.”