Yas Island Muay Thai Championship Abu Dhabi crowns Youssef Boughanem as 2018 Champion

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  • Yas Island Muay Thai Championship claims its title as one of Abu Dhabi’s most thrilling sporting events, as 16 International Fighters went head to head, at the du Forum in Abu Dhabi on November 23.

The inaugural Yas Island Muay Thai Championship, brought to you by Emirates Hospital, came to an exciting finish, with leading international Muay Thai legends showcasing an action-packed evening, full of adrenalin-packed surprise and closely fought matches that saw Youssef Boughanem from the main event being crowned the Yas Muay Thai Champion of 2018. Organised by Flash Entertainment, the night of November 23rd reinforced Abu Dhabi’s position as a global sporting hub, as hundreds of Muay Thai fans were brought to their feet to cheer on their favourite fighters. The du Forum in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island came alive with 8 thrilling fights; co-main, main and undercard bouts featuring 16 of the best competitors, enthralling the audience and reinforcing the essence of Muay Thai; fight to the finish, with discipline and attitude. The 8 winners of the event showcased a heady mix of clinching action combined with alertness and agility, throughout the fights.

Antoine Gholmieh, VP Projects, Flash Entertainment, said: “We are delighted by the enthusiastic response to the inaugural Yas Island Muay Thai Championship here in Abu Dhabi. Tonight’s event was an astounding display of skill, dedication and determination showcasing sportsmen at the very top of their game. We pride ourselves on delivering unforgettable moments for fans and this evening’s Fight Night certainly did that.”

The Yas Island Muay Thai Championship comprised of two main fights and six undercard bouts featuring:

  • Jake Purdy from the UK vs Youssef Boughanem from Morocco
  • Somchai Lueamlam from Thailand vs Jack Kennedy from the UK
  • Ahmed Hussain Mohamed Khalil Al Khoory from the UAE vs Mohamed Ahmed Elmarghani from Egypt
  • Mohanad Ghassan Hussein from Jordan vs Valentin Thibaut from France
  • Walter Gonçalves from Brazil vs Pedro Ruiz from Spain
  • Jussi Santalahti from Finland vs Fernando Groenhart from The Netherlands
  • Salimkhan Ibragimov from Russia vs Jose Manuel Hita Rodriguez from Spain
  • Ilyass Chakir from Morocco vs Nicolas Mendes from Senegal

The main fight, which featured the biggest names of Muay Thai, saw World #7 Youssef ‘ The Terminator’ Boughanem, crowned as the champion, defeating Jake ‘Pretty Boy’ Purdy in an exhilarating knockout in the second round; it was a round that saw some of the fastest and most daring action ever seen in Abu Dhabi. In the co-main event, Jack Kennedy won by unanimous  decision over Somchai Lueamlam in a closely fought match that pitted strength and speed against agility and quick thinking.

The undercard bouts proved to be as electrifying as its main versions, with determined fighters giving it their all. All undercard bouts were 3 rounds each with all 6 fights won by unanimous  decision. Mohamed Ahmed Elmarghani defeated Ahmed Hussain Al Khoory in the first fight of the evening. In the second fight, there were some heart stopping moments, as Valentin Thibaut took on and won over Mohanad Ghassan Hussein. Walter Gonçalves took out the third match, putting up a fierce fight against Pedro Ruiz.  The next three matches were won by Jussi Santalahti, Salimkhan Ibragimov and Ilyass Chakir respectively, against Fernando Groenhart, Jose Manuel Hita Rodriguez, and Nicolas Mendes, rounding off what was one of the most thrilling fights ever witnessed by the capital city.

Gholmieh concluded, “In recent years, Muay Thai has been garnering significant attention and popularity in the UAE, especially in Abu Dhabi, for its unique ability to combine fitness and well-being with some intense sporting action. The hosting of the event underscores the government’s keenness to attract some of the best sporting events to the city, and promote an active, healthy lifestyle while encouraging a sense of camaraderie, healthy competition and endurance among the people.”

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