Baz Mohammad Mubariz: Afghanistan’s MMA Ambassador

Fightland Blog

By James Goyder

Photos via Baz Mohammad

Kabul based welterweight Baz Mohammad Mubariz it travelling to Phuket this week to take on a Swedish opponent at Full Metal Dojo. The Afghan will be fighting for the sixth time and is determined to be an ambassador for his nation’s nascent MMA scene.

A successful wrestler, Mubariz first became aware of MMA six years ago and endeavored to study the sport despite the complete lack of facilities and infrastructure in Afghanistan at the time.

“In 2008 I watched some MMA events and enjoyed it so much. It was very interesting and I saw that I could have ability in this sport because of my good physique and strength, as well my courage, but at that time MMA did not exist in Afghanistan,” he told Fightland.

Having already established himself as a successful wrestler Mubariz believed he had the tools to compete in MMA and immediately set about finding some like-minded training partners.

“My Father was a wrestler and I was the top ranked wrestler of the Afghanistan National wrestling team for five years. When I wanted to start MMA in Afghanistan at first I invited my two brothers to learn more with me about MMA. Then I invited some friends from a town called Pulikhumri in Baghlan province and we started MMA training but we didn’t know about MMA rules and in the beginning we would hurt each other and there were a lot of training injuries.”

Mubariz has fought four times in India and once in Pakistan but has never competed in Kabul. The security situation there makes it an unlikely destination for a major MMA promotion but the Afghan welterweight says the situation is not as bad as perhaps people imagine.

“Sometimes outsiders have the wrong picture of Afghans and Afghanistan. I have faith in our security forces to take care of the security of Afghanistan and the security forces of Kabul are ready to take the care of the security for sporting events like boxing or MMA. The country has been at war for 35 years and so security is not perfect, but we are able to live with this.”

Without a dedicated MMA camp to train at in his homeland Mubariz says he works with coaches from a variety of different backgrounds.

“I have three coaches from different styles in Afghanistan and I have access to boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and Judo where I am training in Kabul. My dearest friend Beverly Aisha Toomer recently supported me to make a trip to Thailand to train in order to improve my technical skills and learn what other countries are doing for training in MMA.”

During that trip Mubariz was offered a fight by Phuket based promotion Full Metal Dojo and this Saturday night sees him compete inside the cage for the sixth time at the Seduction Night Club in Patong. His record currently stands at 3-2 and he expects to improve it against Swedish welterweight Kristoff Persson.

“I have watched Kris’s fights. I am sure that I will defeat him because my abilities are stronger and I have the heart to do this,” he said.

Mubariz’ dream is to one day compete in the city he calls home and with MMA gaining traction in Afghanistan he hopes it will not be too long before he has the opportunity to fight in Kabul.

“MMA is finding fans all over Afghanistan. UFC and ONE FC are famous names in Afghan society and athletes, youths and families are watching on TV or on youtube. It is the desire of all the people of Afghanistan to watch me fight live and I would love to show my people a great fight in Kabul that they can really enjoy.”

Interview courtesy of The Diesel Diva. 



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