Motaz Askar is an undefeated 21 year old mixed martial artist fighting out of the Midwest Training Center in Illinois. He has competed for several organizations throughout the United States including Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Motaz Askarwhat: You say the corona yeah. How are things there with the corona virus? It’s it’s not too bad over here. I don’t know how many cases we have, but in the town that I mean specifically it’s not too bad, but they lock this down. I’M pretty sure like every other city in the country, but um you know, you’re staying inside can’t leave can’t go anywhere. All the gyms are closed, so it’s kind of taking a toll, but it’s a different thing. You know and I’m pretty sure it’s different for everyone else too, but it is what it is. You just have to do with what you got. You know yeah, I’m like I’m located in Canada. We have the same sort of issue, they locked everything down and you can get fine for being on the street with people. So oh really, yeah pretty much just locked in so no no jujitsu, no, no, no training of any sort. So but yeah you, you have a your brother competes too. Doesn’T he I got to yeah okay and they both think he fight? Okay, all right! It was one of the one, your card with you as well. Yes, he was that was my oldest brother who’s. With me, okay, yeah yeah, I was looking at the the highlights of your last fight and it was a I thought it was very entertaining. Obviously you know you got the decision, but they were doing with cartwheels and having some fun out there. So uh impressive, impressive fight! Thank you. How long? How weird is it to compete with uh with the brother or sibling on the same card? It must be, must be nerve-racking the bass actually a few yeah. So it’s the second time I’ve ever fought with my brother. Since there’s three of us. They fought together twice my oldest brother yeah and my other brother. They fought together twice and then me and my oldest brother fought twice and this time around the first time around. We fought for LFA together and the good thing about them was, I saw, I think, forth on the card and he fought 9:00 9:30. So there was a gap, you know what I mean yeah and with that gap it’s like it gave us time to like regroup. After my fighting for him to focus on his fight this last fight, we had, I was seventh on the card and he was ninth, so it’s kind of it was kind of like cut closed, so I had to fight first, obviously, and then from there after my Fight, I was still hurting, so I had to go, get checked out by the paramedics and he was even warm. He was even warmed up for his fight because you know I just fought in my coaches and my other brother were out there with me in my corner and he was in the back trying to warm up and then by the time he came up. You know he wasn’t fully fully prepared, you know, so it’s cool and it’s nice, but if I were to like ever do it again, we talk to each other about it all three of us and we’re like if we were to fight on the same card. We’D have to talk to the promoter and try to make sure that we are not too close on the fight card together, because you know it’s just too much. It’S too straining you know on the mind for me right after my fight right when I was again checked by the paramedics, I was there for like 5-10 minutes and then that psychic, that fight got finished right away, and I went to the back and my brother Was walking out, you know, and I didn’t get to see him after my fight and then I sat down you know from there. It all went down, so it kind of sucks in a way it has its pros as cons and what I fight with him. Again. I would 100 % but, like I said, I’d want a gap somewhere in that you know I wouldn’t. I would want to be able to relax up to my flight or relax after his flight and then I fight or whatever whoever goes first on the fight card. You know I mean yeah, does it put a like? Obviously you won your last fight. I mean you’ve won every fight, but you won your last fight and it probably put a little bit of a probably didn’t get the same feeling as it would of knowing that he had lost as well. A hundred feel good after I fought, I usually for me when I fight – and I know that was one of my hardest fights to. I went out there and I took some damage. I fought it was February 7th and today’s the 28th. I think, and there was two or three times we collided Chin’s when I was, he checked me and Russians still not like hundred percent. You know so with that. It’S like I wanted to go to the back and just be. You know like give myself like a little break and then I will like let the wind set in you know what I mean yeah, it’s a lot after all that that the pain i sat down and then after I seen him lose, I you know what I Can adjust it felt like I lost you know, so it didn’t feel like. I won that fight, adding it to go, see people outside my friends, the people who supported me, my like fans, my even my family, you know like we all just you know we’ll. Just like we’ll just see you guys at the house just leave, so I didn’t get to see nobody and obviously seeing him and how disappointed he was it. Wasn’T it wasn’t for him to seeing that and it really did feel like I lost, like I didn’t, feel like I won when people ask me about my fight, I’m like yeah. It was good you know, but like if you were to ask me about another fight where I would fight alone and that I won I’d bet yeah, I’d love to talk about it, but like this one, since he lost like it, was kind of just you know It put a damper on on it, but it it put like a really really big damper on it. Wasn’T like small, like it affected me to the point where I felt I lost in a bad way. You know John’s going home. I was like this is it’s this. This is shitty. You know this feeling doesn’t feel good, even though I I know I won, but you know so same bloodline and you train nitro, my brother’s everyday and just the grind that it you know sometimes when it doesn’t pay off it. Just it hurts you know and that’s the only problem with having Blake Austrey finding together everyone’s losses, ours. So if one loses all you know it hurts, you know. If we’re, if one wins, if one just fights it’s like, we all won you’re, not I mean yeah. Absolutely yeah yeah. I have two brothers of my own, so I can. I can relate there, none of us, none of us fight or anything like that, but same sort of thing. You know one. One brother success is all of our successes: exactly yeah yeah yeah. I feel you there um you’ve had a like a long amateur career right. You’Ve had seven yeah. What was the? What was the reason behind that like why? Why didn’t you make the jump to pro sooner Oh. For me, I started training when I was really young. Uh it’s about 12 years old, and I knew I want to fight you know ever since then, because my brothers started. Obviously my oldest brother was 18 right when he turned 18. You know he had his first fight and my oldest is four years older and other ones, two years older. So by the time he was 18. I was 14, you know, and I was watching him and and then one mother brother joined in I was like man. I’M ready, I could you know, fight these guys, these amateurs, and by the time I came up, a lot of things happened. My brother moved to Milwaukee to train at Rufus port. You know and then the other one got injured and like anyways yeah, I I knew. I want to have at least five you know and when it all came together, as I was fighting, we seen some holes that I need to fix. As my first fight. My thank you find my third fight. You know, and it was like a plan. You know our coach now he’ll he’s always he’s with him. It’S more strategy and more strategic in the in the mind of life or in the aspect of fighting the right person and like right style and making sure you’re ready, and you know – and he was like. I need you to make sure you have your ground game on point when you’re on top Jitsu wrestling and striking boys higher boxing before we turn you pro, and so I had to go out there and prove to him that I was ready to turn pro and, Like if I, if it was my old himself, I probably would have probably turned myself caught in my second fight. You know what I mean, which would probably would have been a bad decision. That’S all you have a close in for him. He was like. Let’S work on your boxing, this fight, let’s work on your kickboxing, look on your jutsu. Let’S see what you got, you know I mean so it doesn’t thing is as an amateur. I fought and fought many guys like go through the line, the first guy Wow. He hit really hard. You know he had some good boxing ii. Dude he’s really good jiu-jitsu guy who’s, good everywhere. You know feeling some of them. Some of them had really impressive records like six and one five and one as amateurs so yeah. So that was the thing: let’s see the third fight, the kid, the kid was opened one and he was a Muay Thai kickboxing champion. You know he’s been doing kickboxing since he was little and then they gave me him out. They are men like this kid. You know kids, amortized, specialist and my coaches are okay. The game plan is go in there struggling them a little bit, see how you feel you can strike with him and struggle to our people, and then you know, do your thing: you’re a wrestling. Take him down and sorry I did one in there. You know after a couple seconds took him down and then you know worked my jujitsu and everything and then other couple guys like the guy who’s, six and one I thought for him. Six, and one you know, is an impressive record and my coach Douglas – let’s put you against the guy who knows, was been experienced, who’s been in there. You know, I was only four, not the time going on Jitsu and I know he was pretty good a kickboxing. So it was like my coach is like here: you got to have all all-around MMA game, ready to go fight this kid and you know I did and then the kid after that was like the number one kid in Illinois and he was always talking. [ __ ] to me, you know messaging me and this and that but right that was about a year and a half ago, we’re cool now like we actually we’re planning, train together and everything. But you know it’s how the I guess fight game goes, but I fought him. He was supposed supposedly supposed to be like the number one guy in Illinois at 145, and I ended up going in you know, beating him and then from there is just like those six or not that at that point, and I thought I was gon na – go Pro after that and my coach is like, let’s get you one more just you know, because something happened, personal life. Let’S take a couple months off, I took, I think about see a thing was I was planning on taking like a year off, but I was like you know what let’s try a fight, so they gave me a guy who was eight and twelve well. Actually, they gave me a guy who was three and one. I think green one three and two and Jordan Gagne yeah he pulled out and – and I was like – listen keep me on the car, whatever I’ll fight anybody, you know and they put that guy who’s 8 to 12, and I knew him like a a bunch of My teammates bottom and I was like you know what maybe it’s a good thing died with a lot of experiences. Man I had 20 amateur fights. You know let me Adam and at that point my coach is like turning pro after this fight and after that fight. That was, like you know the goal to turn prior to the fight, and when that all you know after that all happened, I was like. I’M ready give me this and that and he’s like my coach is like actually, let’s see if we could do one more amateur just in that, ok, whatever you want I’ll do like you know it don’t matter to me and we ended up. You know, like I just told him. I want a break though, and then after that break, I got myself back mentally my back. You know me physically mentally everything, and I tell him like whatever you want. Even give me an amateur fight, I’m ready. We had a guy who’s sick, so no as an amateur and he’s like. Let’S make it happen, I said: let’s do it, but then Ramadan came and I’m not fighting during Ramadan. I’M not doing that and he’s like. You know what we have this card and it was in November. He said, let’s make it happen, I said: let’s do it and they made it at a catchweight which I never fought it 150 before, besides my last amateur fight, I say okay, but I’m not I’m not a 55, I’m fighting a 45, so you know took about What two two and a half years, so it was good. I felt like it was a good amateur, run and good amateur fights. I I felt like I fought some of the best people that I could fight. You know even the dudes I fought with like not even a record like the dude. I first thought was oh no. These are both our amateur debut and then this guy knocked out the next two guys in under 30 seconds. You know what I mean and then the second kid was more tied champ now you know like I know myself and I Know Who I fought so I know where my love was at and I just I’m grateful that I had along, I guess, longer amateur career Than most because it teaches me, you know – and it taught me like what I need to know and to be fully ready. You know yeah, it’s also good, that you picked it up young too right, which is you’re 21 right. You want 21. So it’s really really on to the game, so you may as well pick up pick that up now versus someone who’s picking it up at 27 or 28 and they may not have time to add those fights in right. Oh yeah, that’s the thing I had time on my side too, even though, like you can’t always say like okay, I have time but in reality I’m, like you said, I’m only 21 sector. I could have fought amateur Intel’s. 24, it’s my 5. You know but, like I didn’t have to rush nothing, you know yeah. Yes, he said your. Your older brother oldest brother is at Roku sport. Is that something that you’ve considered, like I’m sure, you’ve gone into error? So he was that rule. Do you think yeah? He ended up leaving and coming back and that’s the thing we train every day and I I did go out to move sport every Thursday to see him. I drove out there and we were do the practices there. You know good training out there and then get on. He decided to come back and my other brother came back from an injury and then you know we all got back together and we just throw it all training. You know probably good that you guys are quarantined together right that that competition there, you guys, can put in the work they in there. That’S the thing is he’d, be he doesn’t they both really don’t live here like with me, but then we coming in every now and again like they’re here right now and he’s a you want to work out. You know like you want to do something. Just a net, so it’s always good to have that push. You know. Oh yeah, that push to train and get ready for flights, even if there’s no fights and this and that you know oh yeah, absolutely I mean I’ve really. My brother, I have one brother here, the other ones in Europe. He plays soccer and you’re up. So I don’t don’t see him much, but yeah yeah, it’s good to be able to have them here and they push you the bloodline too. You know yep, absolutely um. So your your family’s from from Palestine, correct! Yes, yes, so um one question I mean I find that a lot of UFC fighters and Bellator fighters don’t seem to be coming from from the Middle East and Palestine. Guys like belong Muhammad, obviously have kind of changed. The script at have shown like you know, we have legit fighters. How long do you think before the Middle East is a frequent stop for these bigger organizations and obviously I’m sure it’s something that you want to put on the map as well yeah? For me, I still there. Yes, I’m sorry. Could you hear me yeah lost connection there for a second okay. I was saying obviously my goal is to make TD FC and become world champion. Oh and always moving forward in my goals. You know as a fighter and one of my other like biggest goals, but I have this a couple of things: one to have a platform big enough to show what I really care for you know, and one thing is my country, which is Palestine and a lot Of people don’t know about what’s happening over there. You’Re not I mean that’s also a thing bunch of things that’s happening over there, it’s a kind of like worn, torn around there. You know those areas, and so the biggest focuses cannot really be a sport. That’S why you really don’t see a bunch of athletes coming from that, you know what I mean that country over there. You know, usually it’s the people who move out or leave and then build themselves in another country as the US or Canada or you know, wherever it is, you know, and so for me, I’d love to make to the FC. Have that big name to show what the country is all about, and I hope after some time it would get big enough to the point where from that but um as of right now it would it probably probably needs a lot more time. You know what I mean because over there once you’re over there, that’s not the main priority. You know main priorities to stay safe, stay alive like it’s, you know it’s pretty dangerous back there and I think it it probably take years yeah number on implant, yeah yeah. Well, I mean I’m rooting for you. I watched your last fight and you know been a fan of a wall for a long time as well. So really, you know and – and I find MMA especially like for ah she’s – a journalist and she’s – really put it on the map as well. So yeah, I’m really hoping that you know these and they put they put a card over there not too long ago as well, and the UFC did so yeah yeah, so hopefully they can. They can continue to grow that and with those organizations. Hopefully, it really really helps, I guess, especially with the situation over there. Yeah also uh, I guess for for younger people who are considering MMA and more specifically parents, like I’m 24 myself, and if I went up to my parents when I was 16 17 or in your case 14 and said hey, I want to be an MMA fighter. Yeah, I didn’t kicked out of the house, so what I guess, what was your parents thought when they had three kids all want to be fighters? I’Ll tell you this! It’S actually funny, because I was 12 at the time. My brothers were 14 and 16 and my oldest brother actually had a conversation with them. I was like hey, I want to fight and obviously the whole house got flipped upside down and tell them no, you can’t just fight. What is that? What do you think this is you know what I mean: go, get a job, blah blah blah, and I mean look at him now. You know he’s 10 and 1 as a pro on the verge against signed to anywhere any promotion in the world, and the thing is it’s just you know with that. Obviously every parents can react the same way at first. You know so with him it was. It was so at first, it was him, I want to go through it, and so they like kind of accepted after he fought and okay you’re, the oldest. You know you fought you liked it. You loved that your trainer super hard so seems like you can keep it going and then some older brother, so it’s like it, the three of us in OP three of us, are like different in a way you know I mean so. My oldest brother, my parents, are always supporting him and then my other brother, the middle one. He was kind of like the trouble child. You know in high school either they yeah he could go up. He went up them like I’m fighting, they really didn’t, say nothing. Okay, you do whatever you want, you know, I mean yeah with him, he got it and then for me it was say I would say my opinion was the hardest, because when I was young I wanted to fight, and I told I didn’t actually tell my parents. I want to fight, I told my brothers and I was like yeah. You know I’d love to like I’d love to join. When I get older, I’m gon na do wrestling and I told mom I want to go on high school, I’m a imma do it. You know, and so when I was done wrestling, I told my mom I’m like I’m gon na fight. You know cuz. I just turned 80 now see I’m gon na fight, I’m gon na go to the gym with them. I’Ma start training now and finished wrestling, and the thing was, I was doing my time, my own, my own gym with my other coach and he laughed after. I turned 18 and you know I was like I’m gon na start training with them all the way and wherever they train at, and so she was like you’re, not fighting. I said no, I’m gon na fight a 10 train for the past six years to not fight. You know and she was like what do you mean train and, like my mom, like kind of didn’t understand that every time she dropped me off to the gym? Since I was 12, she didn’t, she thought I was lifting. She didn’t think I was training and doing my Thai and jiu-jitsu and wrestling yeah, so she was confused. She’S, like you know how to fight. I said, let me fight, you know at least one time they I’d show you and then so she was. She was just like trying to held off she’s like you’re, not fighting whatever whatever and then as time flew by. I come back one day and, as I hear, and I got a fight scheduled and she whined like crazy and started yelling at me. What do you think no you’re, not fighting? Only your brothers could fly you’re done you’re? No, I don’t walk three. I said. No! Don’T worry it’s okay and then she goes he’s like I’m gon na tell your dad tells my dad my dad sake. Okay, so they both come to sit me down. Doug, listen, one fight. If you lose you’re, never fighting again, okay and then they kind of put that pressure on me like if you ever. If you lose this for you’re, not fighting, you know like you’re, not making it a career, you’re you’re, stopping and what’s actually funny is. I remember the day that would daya Wayans. I came back home, I was by myself, I came home and my mom was like, so this is just gon na, be your one and only fight, I said no, no, the deal was, if I lose. I could then I have to quit, but if I went I could keep going and as she started on me and I’m like man, I’m just trying to replenish my body. You know I just can’t wait and then the funny thing is after you know. Obviously I won my first fight and then I kept fighting and after my last my second last amateur fight, I told my mom I’m like listen. I don’t want to go to school, no more. I want to make this like. I want to train full-time this and that and she tells me I hundred percent support you she’s a girl out of school right now I was like: let’s go, you know what I mean so the MT like had my back and she, like, I believe in you. I know you could do this you’re, like she’s, like you’re, doing great things and my dad supported me too, like he’s like yeah, let’s do it you’re not, I mean and then obviously they’re like when that all happened when I did drop out of school. That’S when I had to take a break cause, something happened, you know, and so I actually went back to school. You know – and I told myself I’m like I’m gon na make fighting my priority, but I’m also gon na have other things to do in my life. Such as school, you know, and all these other things and work so yeah. It took a couple years for my mom and dad to be like okay, no, it’s fine, but now they’re a hundred percent riding the ship and they believe in me. You know, like a thousand percent, my mom believes, like I’m gon na make a four and my dad does too. You know and my dad’s always watching the same fight. He if I have a fight, he’s watching it for six months straight. You know what I mean until another one comes on, he say: hey see, you see this as like yeah I mean I was the one fighting. I know what happened yeah. Well, I mean on the bright side, you’re uh you’re, what nineteen? Oh so I mean you’ve. Never lost so they can’t really get you to quit. If you don’t lose right, I guess for some non MMA content. So what what’s your quarantine day? Look like you got any movie recommendations and TV shows you’ve been watching. Yeah man, I’m not aligned me personally. I love like I love leaving like I’m not leaving by love moving. I hate staying in one place and the fact that the quarantine is making us stay like I forced myself to go outside and I’m like listen. I know there’s nothing to do and I hope I don’t like. No one comes at me, hey what he’s doing outside you know, but I just I just can’t stay inside, but when I do right now is just my own. This is a thing too. So my mom is in the Middle East actually and they put the ban on so she can’t come back and she’s stuck there, not the ban but uh. You know they yeah, so she’s stuck there. So I’m left with my dad and here’s my dad. My little of my I have a twin sister, actually so much one sister and my little brother and my other brothers, just you know, live somewhere else, and but man we just we all stay up behind me and my brother and my sister and we just stay Up kissing right now, actually I’m injured, because I I hurt my wrist couple weeks ago. So I guess this quarantine is the worst thing in the world because I wouldn’t be able to train but, like I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be cleared, butts, not gon na go see a doctor for so right now. I’M just like you know, just not doing nothing with it and basically bro. The only thing I’m doing right now is eating a lot of food and then just playing DFC game. Madden and just you know all these games, but once you’re I can definitely recommend to you if you’ve never watched it. If you do, you don’t need to like football, but it’s called all-american. I don’t know if you know that show, but that shows Elgar. If you, okay, I don’t know yeah, that’s the show you should watch it’s amazing. I think it’s like everyone’s watching right now, but American, that’s the only show I’ve been actually watching. I’Ve watched this starting. I started it before quarantine and now that it’s you know now we’re stuck here. I finished it and now I’m like man. What else could I do you know and then my dad’s out here making us do construction in the house. So that’s why I took so long. He were you know, doing the tiles downstairs and I’m just like man. I’D rather be you know, training getting faced and doing all this. You know yeah I get it. I mean I uh, I mean I’ll, give you a run down to the podcast. I guess how I started it. So I’ve been I hired on a fan for since Rampage broke that door, but but yeah. So I was I work 9:00 to 5:00, but I’m working from my house and I live by myself right now, my brother, with his girlfriend and my girlfriend’s out here. So I was like you know what I do something MA related and I had a UFC like matchmaking thing that I’ve worked on for years on Twitter. So I was like why don’t I just put it out there and ask if anyone wants to join on the podcast, so I did next thing. I knew I had three UFC fighters on Bellator fighter and yeah, so it started like that and now I’m writing articles for for MMA site. So it’s I don’t know is way better than just you know, playing video games and doing doing nothing else. So it’s kind of how I started and very similar, like I’m, used to going out and doing stuff but quarantine forced me to do this and I’m glad I did cuz you meet new people, you start a blog. You have a conversation with people and it’s uh. It’S definitely more fun than just being stuck in the house doing nothing. Yeah yeah! I just started a couple weeks ago, so I’ve this is episode, six actually uh, but I’ve had Mike Rodriguez on who’s a UFC light heavyweight. I’Ve had Andre Yul and Devon Powell, who are all UFC and Bellator fighters, so they’re pretty cool. It was fun and yeah. So still new to this learning, but uh appreciate you coming on man, it means a lot. I appreciate you so much last question man. Do you have any predictions for 249 could be even Tony yeah and then yeah, I’m a big fan of Kobe. By like to leave a lot. You know I don’t like the fan boy or or like favor, too much fighters or be like too much of a fan of, because you know I feel like I. I want to one dude that has my respect fully and 100 % khabib, and I also like Tony I like I like Tony. I think what he deals with on a daily basis is inspirational. You know, I think, he’s a lot crazy, but you know that’s uh. That’S him – and you know, he’s dealing with all stuff like this is her friend ahead and all that whew that he had like that stuff. Definitely hard to deal with. I ball skies and, if I were to put a prediction on out, probably probably have to say to be decision them. I don’t see, could be finishing Tony because normal can finish Tony and then I don’t know. I can’t really see Tony sobbing khabib. I just can’t see it you know, but if I I mean, if there is a way that he could win, it would probably be somehow abayas the mission. I don’t think he’ll be able to decision them and I definitely don’t think anyone will be able to knock out each other. You know because Tony eats shots like it’s, you know it like it’s his breakfast and come. He was just. You know that dudes, just different type of grappler ya know so I don’t know I think he’d be the hardest fight he’s ever had. Thank you ever so, we’ll see how it goes. I I’m probably could be decision so yeah, that’s how I have it. I have. Can be decision, but the more I think about it, the more I go back and forth and you got Tony’s elbows and alright man. Well, I appreciate you taking the time and I’ll uh I’ll. Let you know when it’s up but appreciate it and make sure you keep washing your hands. Man stay safe,