FROM war-torn Iraq to Belmont MMA 24/7, Greco-Roman wrestling sensation Ali Al-Asadi is taking the sport by storm.
Under the tutelage of national coach Adrian Tesanovic, the 21-year-old has won gold medals in his past two competitions and is preparing for the Greco-Roman national championships later this year.
Having only started the sport three months ago, Al-Asadi also has two years of judo experience, which he said had aided his sporting transition.
Al-Asadi praised coach Tesanovic for his “European mentality” when it comes to training and said that the aggressive, rigorous regime was at another level.
“The mental and physical preparation is at a different level; we do exercises that other gyms don’t usually do, with Russian origins. We do the kettle bell technique, situational training which focuses on stretches and movements that are associated with our type of wrestling, “ he said.
“At the end of the session, we do live sparring and get matched up with anybody with kilos ahead of you; which is a great experience because it gives me a sense of where I am and where I want to be.”
The national championships, which will be held in Belmont later this year, is Al-Asadi’s next big challenge.
Tesanovic said he was proud of the 21-year-old’s early accomplishments and praised his attitude and commitment to the sport.
“I’m pretty lucky to say that I have a very good strong, dedicated and academic wrestler,” he said.