The following article was originally published in Kurdistan24.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Kurdistan24) – After his victory on Saturday, a Kurdish Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter said Kurds were “natural warriors.”
Competing in his fifth amateur bout, Ahva Abdurrahman defeated opponent Ben Brown with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
The victory extended the young Kurdish fighter’s amateur record to four wins and one loss.
Speaking to Kurdistan24 after his fight, Abdurrahman said the ongoing heroics of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces inspire him.
“Kurds are natural warriors,” he stated. “We’ve had to fight for everything since day one.”
“The Peshmerga are the true warriors [here], risking their lives every day,” the MMA fighter added.
Saturday night’s victory meant Abdurrahman qualified for the nationals of the Valor Fights’ featherweight (145lbs) division, a vital step in his promising career.
“I’m gaining exposure, and I expect to gain even more,” he told Kurdistan24.
“My fights speak for themselves,” the Kurdish MMA fighter continued. “[My team’s] going to the top.”
While confident in his talents, Abdurrahman reminded fans he was “grateful” for the backing from his family members.
“They always make sure I’m taken care of and show endless support,” he said.
The teenager offered humble advice to up-and-coming Kurdish athletes like himself, urging them to “keep striving” and accomplish their dreams.
“Believe in yourself. Know in your heart that you can achieve anything you set your mind to,” he explained.
Abdurrahman, 18, was born in Nashville, Tennessee after his parents moved to the US in the early 1990s from Dohuk Province in the Kurdistan Region.
The above article originally appeared in Kurdistan24.