Elias Boudegzdame never stepped into the ring without his menacing smile which earned him the nick name “Smile”. The 23 year old featherweight is one of the most dreaded Algerians to walk into the cage of any MMA promotion. His career is going strong with 13 wins, riding an ongoing 4 fight win streak. Most of his victories had come out of submissions. The diversity in his submission victories make him lethal on the ground while he is punishing enough on stand-up to force his opponents to go for the clinch or ground game.
As much as he is feared in the ring, he is loved by his fans and commands the respect of a generation that closely follows MMA in Algeria and France. Montpellier which is the fastest growing city in France for the past 25 years is home to La Bonne Ecole’s club and have witnessed the ascension to legacy of Elias Boudegzdame. Montpellier will now embrace the local hero who reigns with a smile at the throne of international MMA with his well deserved championship opportunity at Brave 4: Unstoppable to be held at Abu Dhabi on 31 March, 2017.
Q: What is your fight strategy and how do you successfully execute it in the cage?
A: When I step into the ring, it is a chess game. My strategy is nothing but to derail the strategy of my opponent. To be precise, as long as my opponent think that he is the dominant one, he will dominate the fight. My focus is to out perform in his best game thereby making him feel weak and exhausted. In short, MY STRATEGY IS HIS STRATEGY.
Q: Backstage is where pressure is, those moments before your music hits. What are the thoughts running in your mind at those moments?
A: This is my favorite question to answer in every interview. To be precise, I will give you an example. At heart we are all children who aspire to achieve bigger and better. We are fascinated by the satisfaction of what we can do and the results we can achieve. That is the basis of all our dreams. Yes, in the process we are both tensed and excited at the same time. Just like a child who has bought a ticket and eagerly waiting to enter a theme park for the very first time, I will be there embracing the moment ready to rush into the cage. Brave 2 was the best ride I ever had in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, a ride worth taking forever. Now I am waiting for Brave 4: Unstoppable.
Q: Comment on the support of your coach in preparation for the fight?
A: A coach has the responsibility to ensure success and safety for his fighter. The feeling is intense when the coach is your brother himself. I am fortunate to have my brother as my coach. Sharing the same blood adds more depth and meaning to our dreams and goals. When I enter the cage, I embody my brother. Every punch I take hurts his goal. Even at the toughest moments in the cage the feeling that I am not alone is the spark of inspiration that keeps me going. When I take a punch he takes the same punch with me, when I lose he lose too, I cannot let him lose. He is my brother. I cannot explain more.
Q: What are your thoughts about Masio Fullen?
A: My focus is not about the opponent but upon victory. Obstacles are a part of life, but the wise keeps their focus on the goal, which is for me the championship. He came strong with a punishing TKO stoppage victory over Abdul Muneer. My boxing skills are stronger to force him to clinch or run and on the ground is where his nightmares will begin.
I am waiting for my opponent with a smile.
Q: How important will be this victory in Brave Combat Federation 4 for your professional career?
A: Everything. I want to thank god for my good health. Every victory is a reason to stay humble and happy. Becoming eligible for a championship match is a dream come true. It is the result of millions of struggles we went through. I do not project myself to the future but I live each moment working on one day at a time. I will be focused to win and then to defend the championship and be a worthy champion capable of inspiring and touching as many lives as possible. In the end I am glad that this match will give a big smile across my face. Smile will prevail.