There’s a new king of the UAE Warriors bantamweight division.
Xavier Alaoui captured bantamweight gold at UAE Warriors 14 after defeating Jaures Dea via unanimous decision. Alaoui now has back-to-back wins in the promotion and the 29-year-old born in Kirkland, Quebec is their top 135-pound pugilist.
The euphoria was tangible when asking Alaoui about his feelings post-title win.
“It feels great. I fought many times in my career and honestly, fighting for a belt, it was really much more about the belt and the championship than it was about the fight,” said Alaoui in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Like I said in previous interviews, I don’t care about the win bonus anymore. I don’t care, I don’t stress myself with any of that. I’m good. It’s mostly about the fight itself. But this one, it was a little more than the fight itself. It was really about the belt and I found that really helped me gather all my energy for the fifth round to get the fight completely in my favour.”
Circa 1994, Alaoui’s dad introduced him to hand-to-hand combat on the beach. Winning gold was a goal that became mapped out even then, and an old photo that resurfaced on Alaoui’s Instagram touched on this emotional history.
“So, it was more like a kind of a throwback to where we’re at here and my judo years and boxing years and everything. So, it was definitely a sweet feeling to get it. Even for him, I know he’s looking down and he’s proud,” said Alaoui.
While the performance was a comprehensive one for Alaoui, he still has yet to watch this last UAE Warriors bout.
However, he said he did have some recollections from live in the cage.
“There are some shots I couldn’t believe he took and stood. I mean, his eyes were rolling back. A few right hands landed, then a head kick and he just stayed in there. This dude was tough, bro.”
Now a fixture under the UAE Warriors banner, Alaoui said he’s appreciative of the activity he was able to achieve last year with the backdrop of the pandemic going on.
“It was beautiful, it was a blessing, to be honest. Like you said, a lot of guys can’t even get fights. They can’t even practice their passion. I was fortunate enough to do it and to do it for a world title.
“I feel like I’m in a very good spot with my new management with Ruby Sports and Entertainment. In two months, we got a world title.”
Alaoui has a history of training out of Tristar Gym, but, as has been the case for many amid the global pandemic, the methodology changed a bit.
“The camp there, what we did is we went to Dubai a month early. I brought Jeff Chan, MMA Shredded, who is also a pro fighter and a pretty famous YouTuber. We went out there to train, me and him, one-on-one, every day for a month because I wasn’t sure with the whole COVID if we were going to be allowed to fly out the country.
“I’d rather to be there and make sure that the fight was going to go on, especially for a world title. Also renovating my old house right now, so I felt like just being away from that to get ready properly for the fight.”
The work with Chan provided specific utility for Alaoui in performing as well as he did in his title triumph.
“They were mentioning how Jaures (Dea) was a leg kick professional. The guy was going to leg kick me, this guy was going to kick and all this, man.
“There’s nobody better than Jeff for that, so I had the perfect partner to get ready for that. Like in the fight, I leg kicked Jaures, you know what I mean? I worked his leg in the fight, so I found it was very suited.”
There were a couple of people in Alaoui’s corner, including a man who has been prolific in mentoring Canadian martial artists through the years.
“So, it was Jeff (Chan) and Kristof Midoux. He’s Georges St Pierre’s mentor, the big guy that was always in Georges’ corner. He’s been a mentor to me for my whole career. He’s always had my back. The one who brought me to ACA/ ACB.
“He brings a different vision to the cage, a train of thought that cannot be learned. You have to experience it to develop that. He really brings that to every fight. He sees the opening. We had codes, you know. That guy spoke French as well, so he was giving me French codes. It was pretty cool, as always, with him. Always have a great experience.”
In a promotion as widely known and elite as UAE Warriors, Alaoui will have no shortage of opponents lining up for a crack at his title.
And while defending his title is one of the options, Alaoui said there are multiple doors that could open in the near future.
“So, technically, we’ve got a bunch of offers after the fight. I love UAE Warriors, defending the belt wouldn’t be something I’m up against. I mean, I would love to fight again in the great nation over there. Good business is what makes sense to you, what makes dollars. Obviously, I’ve got to think of myself as well, since it’s a short-lived sport.
“It’s a short-lived career in there, so I don’t want to just rush and make stupid decisions. Maybe UFC, we have to see.”
“I want to shout out my sponsors Wrk.com, Stick to the Script, El Barachi Ventures. Honestly without them, all this would be much harder. And I’m thankful for the life I’m living right now, bro. Thank you very much.” Follow Alaoui on social media: Instagram, Facebook
Listen in to my full conversation with Xavier Alaoui right here