Saad Awad (24-13-1) picked up his first victory of 2021 at Bellator 259. In his career which began in 2006, he has fought solely for Bellator MMA since 2013 and while he’s had a recent rough run, he’s back in the win column.
Coming back from a string of losses the way Awad did can be emotional for many fighters, but for Awad, this was especially emotional.
In his post-fight media scrum, acknowledging the bad position in his career, he admitted he could not even focus on it because of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict that has been going on. “I couldn’t even focus on my fight,” Awad admitted. “See what’s going on in Palestine? It’s unreal, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. My family had family back home in Gaza, and this was a hard one.”
For the record, his recent losses came at the hands of a short notice fight against Paul Daley, and former champions and contenders like Benson Henderson, Gouti Yamauchi, and Brandon Girtz. He fought when Bellator had a seasonal tournament format before Scott Coker took over, and win or lose has brought his best to every one of his fights. But he’s not ranked in Bellator’s newly minted rankings.
It should be noted, they are new to 2021 and as Bellator moves forward there is likely to be a lot of movement as more events happen, but that does not mean Awad should be overlooked. Currently, he is not listed in the Bellator lightweight rankings and maybe that will change when they are updated following Bellator 259, but Awad made some interesting and factual points about the rankings.
“The rankings don’t mean much to me,” he said. “You know, it’s a bunch of; excuse my language but it’s a bunch of journalists who made the rankings and none of them put on gloves in their life. And then they’re making rankings for one of the best organizations in the world, or probably the best organization in the world. So, the rankings don’t mean much to me.”
Awad finished Nate Andrews in round one via knock out at Bellator 259. If that isn’t enough to get him closer to the top 10, he might not care but he certainly deserves it.
Where would you place Awad in Bellator’s rankings?