The second season of Arab MMA reality show ‘Al Batal' culminated last week with the crowning of the two champions in their respective tournaments. Walid Akrouh won the middleweight title, while Walid Seghir was victorious in the welterweight division.
As the youngest fighter on the show, Akrouh entered the reality show without a single professional fight. He began his run with a slick armbar submission over Sofiane Seghir then was forced to contest a rematch of sorts with him after his original semi-final opponent, Youness Mikiss, broke his wrist ahead of the fight. Akrouh once again ended the fight via armbar and was awarded the Al Batal middleweight title.
"It felt like a dream being selected to be part of the show and walking into the Al Batal camp," Akrouh said. "The opportunity and the win have given me the confidence to pursue my dream to one day fight for the likes of ONE FC or the UFC."
Opposing coach Ray Elbe also believed Akrouh has a bright future in Arab MMA.
"I believe he'll have to drop a weight class to compete at 77KG in the international scene, but he's real capable of growing into a real star in the Arab MMA community."
Seghir, who is a black belt in jiu-jitsu, was one of the most experienced competitiors on the show, and proved as much with his performances in the cage. He choked out his first opponent in under 30-seconds and contested a grueling three-round battle against Tariq Ismail to determine the welterweight tournament winner.
While Seghir would win a unanimous decision, the referee initially raised Tariq's hand, which allowed drama to ensue until the actual champion was determined.
"The ref made a mistake and Tariq thought he won, but I was sure I won the 1st and 3rd rounds. Tariq was maybe my best friend at the Al Batal camp, and I didn't want to fight him, but that's the game."
It will be interesting to see how these two tournament winners proceed from here and whether they will be offered contracts with international promotions.
The entire season of Al Batal is available on YouTube.