Hamza “The Pride of Bahrain” Kooheji will be the nation’s representative in a combat sports world title fight, as he takes on Brad Katona from SBG Ireland, in a Bantamweight title fight scheduled to take place in the Kingdom of Bahrain, on March 11th, at the Khalifa Sports City Arena.
It will be the first time in history that a Bahraini earns such an achievement in any combat sport, as Hamza is being hailed as the Manny Pacquiao and Muhammad Ali of Bahrain, taking the flag of the Kingdom to the highest places in sports.
Ahead of this historic moment for professional sports in Bahrain, Kooheji paid a visit to his old school, the Abdulrahman Kanoo International School (ARKIS), where he surprised students with a small training session, as well as a talk about how he made it in the professional ranks, and the impact that martial arts had in his life.
“My goal was to change the future generations that are coming because when I was young, they told me I cannot be an athlete in Bahrain and when I grew up, I grew up with this idea and I didn’t like it,” said Kooheji. “Why can’t we be athletes if we were born Bahrainis? I wanted to change this for the next generations and that was my main goal and to do that you need to achieve more than just local achievements.”
He continued, “If you just become the best fighter in Bahrain, that’s nothing, you can’t inspire anyone, you’re just going to be famous for one year and people are going to forget about you. So what i want to do is to become world level, not just the best in GCC or middle east, to become the best in the world and keep climbing and do something that has never been achieved before so we can see a rise in sports in Bahrain for the next generation.”
Finally, he had another huge surprise for the school kids. As a token of appreciation and to give back to his community, Hamza purchased tickets to his fight at BRAVE CF 57 and distributed them to delighted young students, who will be in attendance to a monumental moment for sports in the Kingdom of Bahrain, cheering one of their own as Kooheji looks to become the first Bahraini-born professional world champion in any combat sport.
The biggest name in combat sports in Bahrain, Hamza will headline the latest edition of BRAVE Combat Federation, as part of the BRAVE International Combat Week. The largest sports festival in Asia also features the first-ever edition of the MMA Super Cup, with Team Bahrain looking to maintain the number one ranking, achieved at last month’s IMMAF World Championships.