Under the guiding hand of head coach Marc Montoya, Factory X has steadily moulded themselves into the breeding ground for respected veterans and explosive up and comers. In today’s episode of Across The Pond, you will meet a featherweight blizzard looking to leave the Legacy Fighting Alliance featherweight division snowed under. A professional since August 2017 and representing Factory X, Youssef Zalal holds a 6-1 record in seven career bouts as a professional comprised of five submissions and one knockout. Zalal has competed with various promotions including Legacy Fighting Alliance and Sparta Combat League. He has secured a finish in all six of his victories as a professional.
In his MMA debut at SCL 61 Bad Blood, he submitted Michael Santos in the third round via brabo choke. Zalal defeated Maurice Salazar via TKO in round two in his debut appearance with Legacy Fighting Alliance at LFA 22. He tapped out his next two opponents in Joey Banks and Clay Wimer. Then in his next outing with Legacy Fighting Alliance at LFA 39, Zalal submitted Daniel Soto via rear naked choke in the second round. At LFA 56 he tapped out Steven Merrill in round one via brabo choke. The victory also earned Zalal his fifth submission win as a professional. With five out of his six wins ending with a tap out, you just might get buried if you end up testing this featherweight on the floor!
Interview with Youssef done by Myles Painter of MMA UK
How has training at Factory X under Marc Montoya’s direction impacted your growth as a Mixed Martial Artist?
Training at Factory X it’s been an amazing experience and I have been learning a lot especially under Marc Montoya. I have become a better fighter and everybody at Factory X pushes you to the next level.
You have competed with a variety of different promotions, but your last couple of wins have come under the Legacy Fighting Alliance banner, describe what each of those victories taught you.
Man, LFA has been amazing to me. With each victory, I have learned more and more about my background specifically. everyone thinks I’m a kickboxer but those fights and victories taught me I’m a mixed martial artist.
Whether personal or professional, what is the one piece of advice that has had the greatest impact on you?
Go follow your dreams, listen to yourself and have fun doing it
Describe the moment you knew you wanted to pursue Mixed Martial Arts as a profession.
I started kind of training MMA at age 16 and had my first MMA fight at age 18. I really didn’t think MMA was going to be my thing until I had my first professional fight. Since then, I knew MMA was going to be my future.
What fight or fighter is your all-time favourite and why?
Right now it is Max Holloway, his technique is beautiful and very smart fighter (sometimes he brawls but I love watching him.
How did you obtain your nickname ‘’The Moroccan Devil’’?
One of my favourite fighters is Badr Hari and my old coach started calling me with his nickname the Moroccan devil and my second Muay Thai fight and I loved it since then and I have stuck with it.