Strong under-card heightens Global Fighting Championship excitement Image Credit: Organisers

Dubai: The main kickboxing contest featuring the four top contenders may have cornered much of the attention at the Global Fighting Championship (GFC), which is set to unfold at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday, but the under-card featuring seven fights also offers enough to keep avid Mixed Martial Arts fans hooked to the action.

The main event will see world champion Badr Hari, who boasts a Moroccan-Dutch heritage, will be up against another former kickboxer Stefan Leko, who is of Croatian-German extraction, while Australian Peter Graham will face Lithuanian Arnold Oborotov. The winners will advance to the finals and the chance of winning the Dh1 million on offer along with a qualification for the season-ending GFC Grand Prix.

In the under-card, former three-time world champion Peter Aerts from the Netherlands will take on the ‘Black Kobra’ Dewewy Cooper, Tokyo-based Indian fighter Jaideep Singh will face Turkey’s Fatih Ulusoy while Serbia’s Srdjan Seles will take on Dutchman Brian Douwes.

Some of the top local talent will also be on display with Kamran Morovati of Iran taking on the experienced Serbian fighter Darco Jeremic, Vaughn Donayre from the Philippines going up against Turkey’s Gokhan Turkyilmaz, Abbas Mollamahdi taking on Erkan Varol of Turkey, while young Hussain Mollamahdi — who is fighting out of The Champion Club — will be out to win his fourth straight fight and maintain his cent per cent winning record when he takes on Luke Jumeau from New Zealand.

“No doubt the four-man tournament is going to be a tricky affair. But much of the attention will be on the side card as we have a talented bunch of fighters,” promoter Prince Amir Shafypour told Gulf News.

“I can foresee a Badr Hari versus Peter Graham final. But you can never come up with a correct prediction as one wrong move or decision in the ring can turn things around,” he added.

On the sidelines, one of the highlights will be the presence of American ring announcer for boxing and professional wrestling, Michael Buffer, made famous by his trade-mark catchphrase “Let’s get ready to rumble!”.

The GFC is being hosted by Golden Cage Promotions in association with the Dubai Sports Council. A majority of the tickets for Thursday’s fight have been sold out, but a small amount will still be made available at the gate.

Further information on the event can be obtained at www.globalfightingchampionship.com.