Siyar Bahadurzada, a world champion in free fighting and a member of the mixed martial arts national team, returned to Afghanistan on Sunday to coach the national team.
The popular MMA fighter has lived in the U.S for 18 years but returned on the back of an official invitation from the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee(ANOC) to train the team for at least one week.
Bahadurzada is a mixed martial art fighter who currently fights at welterweight level for the U.S-based Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC).
He was a Shooto middleweight champion and also fought for World Victory Road in Japan.
Bahadurzada said on his return that he will try his best to share his eighteen years of fighting experience with the national team.
Bahadurzada has 28 cage and ring fights to his name while with the UFC – of which he has won 22, 11 as knockouts, and lost six.
“My main aim in returning to Afghanistan is first I missed my country and second I want to share my eighteen years of fighting experience with free fighters and will try my best to introduce and develop top fighters to the UFC organization,” said Bahadurzada.
Meanwhile Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee (ANOC) said Bahadurzada will hopefully pave the way for more free fighters to participate in the UFC.
“We will try to provide the best opportunities for Bahadurzada in order for him to put as much effort into training Afghan athletes,” said Mohammad Zahir Akhbar head of ANOC.