It wouldn’t be a Fightstar card without an epic Flyweight Bout, and the FSC team have got a barn burner of a bout set in stone for the fans in the capital.
GB Top Team’s Vadimas Gaizutis returns to defend his FSC Flyweight strap against Malik Basahel of AVT Leeds.
I caught up with one half of this explosive boit Malik Basahel, who will be looking to test his skill-set against the king of the FSC Flyweight division.
Malik Basahel (6-1-1) is a Saudi Arabian amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Flyweight division, representing AVT Leeds. Malik has competed for Caged Steel, the Saudi Arabian Regionals, Almighty Fighting Championship, Vida Fighting Championship and makes his Fightstar Championship debut on March 11 in at FSC 23.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Malik, and also to congratulate you on your recently announced Flyweight title opportunity at Fightstar Championship 23.
“Thank you, I appreciate it.”
My pleasure Malik.
I hope preparations at AVT Leeds are going well in the build-up to your scheduled trip to London?
“It really is, we’ve got so many different styles there. We have wrestlers, we have Jiu-jitsu guys, we have many strikers across many sizes as well. I’ve worked with my head coach Jason Furness for pretty much every fight so far, Danny Mitchell as well. Another great Jiu-jitsu coach we have is Roberto, we have recently introduced a wrestling program also, its been a really good help. I know it’s a title fight, but I don’t really do training camps, but I do push myself harder when I have a fight booked, especially as it’s a 5 rounder as well. But I’m always training, especially at amateur level as well.”
I’m a huge fan of your gym, I’ve only been able to watch you guys on TV, it’s gonna be amazing to witness your hard work on the show out there.
Title opportunities at Fightstar Championship are ones many would find hard to turn down, as they have been captured by some of the most iconic fighters in the world.
Was this an opportunity that you just couldn’t refuse when receiving the call from the Fightstar team?
“Yeah, absolutely. I was supposed to fight for the Flyweight back in November, but I think Vadimas had to pull out due to personal reasons or injury, I really don’t know. I was looking forward to that fight as well because I know how good he is, he’s good everywhere. He’s very experienced too, in my opinion he’s one of the best amateur Flyweights out there. It’s going to be a really good test of my skill set, and I’ve been looking forward to fighting for the FSC belt, it resembles a ONE Championship belt. It’s gonna be great for the experience also.”
A great test for yourself I have to agree, and what a belt. I didn’t think of that before but it really does resemble the ONE title hahaha.
Your record on your amateur journey is a clear sign of why this opportunity was presented to you. 8 wars in the cage thus far with just 1 defeat, spreading across the past 2 years. But March 11th will be your 1st outing to the capital, no doubt you’re looking forward to the London crowd?
“Yeah absolutely, it’s gonna be my 1st bout in London. When i tell people I’m fighting in England they generally think it’s in London, it’s gonna be nice to finally fight there. I’m looking forward to showcasing my skills to the London crowd, I’ve heard they’re something else.”
We definitely are man.
“I’ve watched a few cards over there and you guys go crazy, I’m really excited.”
A debut for the capital, as well as the Fightstar crowd will give many that may not have got to witness you in action in the lion’s den.
For those in attendance, what can the fans come to expect when that cage door closes on March 11th?
“They’ll be witnessing 2 Flyweights who are very good at what they do, a great skill-set everywhere, whether it’s grappling or striking. They can expect a good scramble, it’s a great opportunity for me. Especially against a guy like him as well, I’m really excited for it.”
A big cage also, so plenty of room for you guys to express yourselves out there.
“Especially for Flyweights, as we move a lot out there.”
You are set to take on defending champion Vadimas Gaizutis, a holder of a prolific skill-set and amateur record similar to your own.
What do you make of your well rounded opposition as March 11th draws near?
“I’ve seen his fights, he’s good everywhere. He’s got good striking, very unorthodox also with his spinning kicks, he’s great on the ground with his wrestling. And you got to respect the fact that he comes from a good team at GB Top Team, a lot of UFC fighters over there, having rounds with them, you know he’s going to have been tested with them. But I’m just gonna go out there and so my thing you know, I’ve watched his fights but I’m not too worried, that’s no disrespect to him, but I just wanna do what I do, use my skill-set against him and see what happens.”
A very respectful response mate, 2 great athletes from 2 great teams will collide. Its refreshing to hear such respect to an opponent.
The return of one of the country’s biggest regional events, has not disappointed in regards to the vast amount of talent that will be on display at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. And with the bout confirmations flying out thick and fast, what a night is is set to be.
Other than your inclusion on the night, are there any confirmed fighter’s or bouts that you are looking forward to witnessing?
“I’ve had a look at the card and there’s a few I’m looking forward to, the guy who fought Vadimas previously, Sabir Hussain is on the card, he’s good as well. It will be good to see a different mix of fighter’s, I’ve fought in Doncaster a few times and Barnsley also, so it will be good to see fighters from a different side of the country.”
Some barn burners indeed, always such an epic card that knaves the fans wanting more mate.
It’s been a pleasure catching up with you again today Malik, I wish you all the best for the remainder of your training and for the violence to come in March mate.
“I appreciate it, I really can’t wait to fight for that title and showcase my skills.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“My message to the fans is to enjoy the show, there’s some good fighter’s on the card. You can expect a good technical fight between me and Vadimas as well, we’re both very technical standing and on the ground as well. The bout will have everything from speed to power. I’d like to thank AVT Leeds for their continued support. To Jamie my head coach, who I’m hoping will be there as well, also my SnC coach who has played a big part in my amateur career.”
Catch Malik and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s shaping up to be an incredible fight card on March 11th at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. Tickets will be made available from the fighters as well as via the Fightstar Championship website here.
Fightstar Championship are proudly affiliated with the English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) who’s prime goal is To develop and promote the education, training and safeguarding of young people, competitors and coaches in MMA.