‘The Best Fight Of The Show’ – Zuhayr Al-Qahtani Promises Epic Battle With Mehdi Zatout At ONE 166: Qatar

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Zuhayr “The Arabian Warrior” Al-Qahtani jumped at the chance to join the world’s martial arts elite in ONE Championship. 

The unbeaten professional boxer from Saudi Arabia wanted to take his career to the next level, and he’ll have that opportunity when he faces Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout in a 147-pound catchweight boxing bout at ONE 166: Qatar on Friday, March 1.  

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Although ONE Championship has hosted professional boxing in the past, it hasn’t been a common occurrence.

With that in mind, Al-Qahtani thinks the organization’s groundbreaking Qatar debut is the perfect time to offer up an entertaining contest for the crowd at Lusail Sports Arena.  

“The Arabian Warrior” told onefc.com

“The fight was too good to turn it down, so I had to accept it. To compete against Mehdi Zatout is just something that I would love to have on my resume. His skills are great. I am going against a former [Muay Thai] World Champion.  

“It seems that our two styles are crowd pleasers. He’s pumped by the crowd, and I’m pumped by the crowd as well. We’re here to entertain all the fans.   

“All I can tell you now is that it will be an exciting fight and will probably be the best fight of the show.” 

With a perfect 9-0 pro slate and more than 20 years of experience in the sport, Al-Qahtani is a true pugilist who has dedicated his life to boxing.  

In the opposite corner, revered veteran Zatout is a Muay Thai specialist who will switch codes to take on the Saudi star at his own game. 

“The Arabian Warrior” thinks there are positives and negatives to facing somebody with a completely different martial arts background, but he will not take “Diamond Heart” lightly:

“Mehdi Zatout is an excellent martial artist. He’s achieved a lot of good things in martial arts and Muay Thai. He’s done great things for the sport. However, he’s coming up against a boxer. I do believe he is in a different dimension. 

“I don’t really have a game plan for how it is expected to go because we’re going in with two different types of styles. He’s not a conventional boxer. He’s a Muay Thai fighter who is going to try to box conventionally.  

“In this game, I’m like a beggar. I’m never choosing my victory. When the victory comes, it comes. A W is a W.” 

‘A Historic Moment’ – Al-Qahtani Can’t Wait To Compete At Home In The Middle East

ONE 166 is ONE Championship’s first event in Qatar – and only its second event ever hosted in the Middle East.  

Zuhayr Al-Qahtani knows it’s important to have the world’s largest martial arts organization putting on shows in the region, and he thinks March 1 could be a game-changer for his career in combat sports. 

The 34-year-old said:

“It’s a historic moment. There’s no other way to describe it. First of all, I’d like to say a massive thank you to ONE Championship. They have done something so amazing by creating the first big martial arts event in Qatar. And having me on the bill is something that I find hard to explain before the fight. I may be able to explain in detail after the fight.   

“It is a dream come true. I needed to be part of this giant. Being part of ONE can revolutionize my whole life and my whole future. It can bring me closer to goals that need to be done. This fight will be just the start, the stepping stone to something bigger.” 

Hailing from Qatar’s neighboring Saudi Arabia, Al-Qahtani grew up in the region. Along with Iran’s Amir Aliakbari and Yemen’s Osamah Almarwai, he’s one of the few Middle Eastern athletes on the stacked ONE 166 card.  

Because of this, “The Arabian Warrior” knows there’s a lot expected of him, and he plans to meet those expectations on March 1.

He added: 

“It means a lot to represent the region. It feels like the entire region’s weight is on my shoulders. I am just here to please the fans. That’s my main aspiration. I’m a prizefighter, I want the fans to enjoy what they see, so I need to give back to the sport.“ 

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