Rewind to September 2014 in Swansea, Wales for Cage Warriors 72 and that is where the beef between Azi Thomas and Mario Saeed began.
Welshman Azi Thomas (3-0 at the time) was taking on fellow Lightweight Mario Saeed (6-1 at the time) to finish off the preliminary portion of the card. With just over one minute left of a very back and forth first round Thomas landed an upkick which ended the fight and started the animosity between the pair.
Thomas would later argue that Saeed was clearly seen looking at referee Marc Goddard before laying back down and that he should “get an oscar for his performance”. On the flip side, Saeed released an official statement via #WHOATV advising that he had gone to the hospital after the fight having suffered a concussion and that he would be more than willing to take the rematch of the fight in which he didn’t “even break a sweat” in.
Now if you haven’t already seen it, here is the official Cage Warriors video showing the full fight;
So why do you ask should we be getting excited about a fight which ended in controversy nearly two years ago?
Well firstly because this fight just has to happen inside a cage for everyones sake. If they continue to bump into each other at regional shows we could have a horrible situation on our hands which wouldn’t be good for either mans career, so lets make it official and do it in their work place (aka the cage).
Secondly both these guys are guaranteed to sell tickets, especially for this rematch. Thomas has a huge Welsh and has been known to sell 400 tickets for some of his boxing fights. Likewise Saeed has an army of Trojan fans who would be willing to make the trip to wherever it was in the UK to see these two settle the score.
Career wise its a great platform for the winner to cement themselves as a top UK Lightweight and with both men coming off of losses you could be certain that this would only drive both of them that little bit harder to perform on fight night.
From a promoters perspective there isn’t really any downside to putting this one on. After getting both sides to agree all you need to do is sit back and watch both of these guys promote the hell out which you could absolutely guarantee would happen. Throw in some head to head interviews and you are definitely going to add to the tension and get some excellent footage to help sell the fight.
Some of the best and most high profile recent fights in #UKMMA have come off of the back of a hot feud with the likes of Diakiese Vs Mousah and Arthur Vs Else springing to mind. But Thomas and Saeed just feels different to those other fights and you can just really sense the animosity between these guys and thats just from a social media perspective.
So my plea is that someone, anyone gets in touch with the respective managers of these fighters and tries to get this fight booked sooner rather than later, because UKMMA is in need of a feud like this and we need to see this rematch.