Jordanian Lina Fayyad threw punches and punches in MMA in the cage, trying to break the stereotypical image of an Arab girl from the beginning of her career, culminating in the fight for Arab and international titles, before her desire to fulfill her dream. Famous championship “UFC”.
With his long hair and curly muscles, Fayyad, 33, passionately tells AFP: “Whoever puts a goal in front of him, nothing will stop him from achieving it. CF”.
Although the practice of martial arts by women is unacceptable in some conservative Arab societies, Fayyad continued, “There were many obstacles in my way: injuries, criticism, I was kicked out of sports clubs because I was a girl and men refused to train with me. I was angry at first, but now I don’t care.
Motivated by his father, a boxer, Fayyad entered the world of martial arts at the age of ten. From the age of twelve he practiced taekwondo, kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts. “He won three kickboxes. Gold in the Arab Championships, World Gold in Muay Thai and Silver in the Arab Championships. I switched to MMA in 2017 and had three fights so far, won twice, lost the last fight by referee decision. And that motivated me to make up for it.”
The girl was wearing a Jordanian fighters al-Nasham t-shirt and continued, “If I listen to the criticism and become a housewife, I won’t be happy.” I want to enjoy the benefits that God has given me. get more.”
In addition to her sports background, Fayyad carries a social message: “I am the only woman who practices MMA in Jordan. I get good feedback from women and they get really excited when they see it. I feel a certain responsibility because I want to show that these Arab girls can “achieve their goals. I will do my best to show they have the ability to do it.”
Why did Fayyad decide to play a sport that some describe as violent and bloody? “Some people play this sport for money, for fame, but I like the adrenaline rush of competing in a cage. I like the discipline and intensity of the training that motivates you, not only physically, but mentally.”
In addition to the benefits of this sport and the increase in self-confidence, athletes seek a livelihood if they do not reach the world rankings. “You need over a dozen fights to start earning money and contracts. You have to be patient. This sport takes all your time, you train between six and seven hours a day and your food and sleep are held hostage. “So you have to fight and get paid in return.”
the cruel beast
As the sport grew in popularity in Jordan and in an effort to develop his career and gain additional experience, Fayyad traveled a short distance to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where he trains and oversees martial arts training at gyms. “I love it. Country too. “I attend a sports camp and train as usual.”
In the capital, Nicosia, he trains with a Cypriot trainer and prepares for a possible fight in June in the coastal city of Limassol, should he recover from a recent injury.
Despite fractures in both legs, Fayyad returned to the gym in search of a step-by-step exercise to ease the pain.
And he doesn’t even think about quitting martial arts even after retiring from MMA: “When I’m older, I’ll stop. I’m going to switch to another sport that suits my age and start Jiu-Jitsu.”
Fayyad likes his nickname, “Cruel Beast”.
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