UFC vet Reza Madadi returns for politically charged main event

Former UFC lightweight and Swedish veteran Reza Madadi is back from retirement for a main event slot pitting Iran against Israel

Swedish-Iranian former UFC fighter Reza Madadi is back! Madadi retired in May this year, citing a desire to focus on coaching. That was also after that he was cut from the UFC, and a bout in ACB fell through after that the promotion cancelled their debut event in Sweden. According to sources to MMAnytt Madadi will now make his return to combat sports, in the Swedish promotion AK Fighting Championship. Madadi will compete in a no-gi grappling bout against Israeli Moshe Ben Shimol.  The event takes place at Solnahallen in Stockholm, November 16th.

Politically charged main event

Iranian-born Madadi facing Israeli Mollaei is no coincidence. The booking is a direct result of strained relations between Iran and Israel. In the latest world championships in judo, Iranian competitor Saeid Mollaei was ordered by the Iranian government to pull out of the ongoing championship to avoid facing Israeli competition. Madadi feels that politics don’t belong in sports, and his sentiments echo those of many of his countrymen, who started the hashtag #BanIRSportsFederations. Madadi tells MMAnytt that he feels sports should be an arena free of politics and religion, and that he has love and respect for athletes of all cultures, ethnicity and backgrounds.

Aside from Madadi’s much anticipated return, the event also features a plethora of Swedish talent – both new and more established. PFL vet Jonatan Westin will collide with Conor McGregor team mate and Bellator vet John Redmond in a middleweight showdown. TUF contestant Frantz Slioa is booked for the event, though his opponent has not been confirmed. Accomplished Swedish thai- and kickboxer Hamza Bougamza makes his fifth pro appearance against local talent Kevin Osorio as well.


The pro bouts and fighters that have been announced can be found below.

Pr0 MMA:

  • No-gi lightweight super fight: Reza Madadi vs. Moshe Ben Shimol
  • Lightweight: David Jacobsson vs. Saeed Ganji
  • Bantamweight: Hamza Bougamza vs. Kevin Osorio
  • Middleweight: Jonatan Westin vs. John Redmond
  • Bantamweight: Bilal Tipsaev vs. Eli Elias
  • Frantz Slioa vs. TBA
  • Elin Öberg vs. TBA
  • Mohammad Babadivand vs. TBA

▶️ Follow us on Youtube for the best & latest MMA content ▶️
ExclusiveLatest newsReza Madadi

With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com