Saad Awad Says Bellator 193 Opponent J.J. Ambrose “Definitely Wasn’t On My Radar,” Still Looking for Respect

Saad Awad Bellator MMA
Saad Awad, Bellator 186 Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

Lightweight Saad Awad is in the co-main event at Bellator 193 on Friday, but he’s still flying under the radar.

Bellator 193’s Saad Awad said after his win at Bellator 186 that he was looking for respect. Awad, amidst a lengthy career in the promotion (along with appearances in KOTC and Strikeforce), has been a mainstay in Bellator the past several years. Yet once again at Bellator 193, he’s paired up with an opponent not exactly known to casual fans. This, despite being in the co-main event.

Awad spoke to the media Wednesday about his opponent, improving his game, and the keys to success — which he feels involves avoiding the scorecards.

“As long as I stay away from going to decisions, don’t get robbed by the judges, I think I’m good” the lightweight said. And he’d like to avoid the judges more frequently, if possible. ‘If it was up to me I’d fight five times a year.”

Awad’s opponent, J.J. Ambrose, is just 1-2 in Bellator, and hasn’t fought for the promotion in years. Aside from a single fight under the Affliction banner, he’s mostly appeared at regional shows. “He definitely wasn’t on my radar” Awad told the media Wednesday. “I knew who he was, we fought on the California circuit for a long time, he’s a local guy.”

“At the end of the day, they could bring up any random name,” he continued, “and I don’t really think about too many guys in the division. I’m just looking to fight, and whoever they give me, I don’t gotta really think about it. I never really think about the guy until I sign the contract.”

Having done that, “I’ve been training really hard, so I’m not afraid to throw as hard as I can for fifteen minutes” Awad promised. “Before, I was afraid to throw my power because I was afraid I was going to get tired. I’ve been putting in a lot of time with my strength and conditioning coach, so I can throw as hard as I want for fifteen minutes. And if I have to, it can be twenty-five minutes.”

When the question of respect was posed to him, something he brought up following his last fight at Bellator 186, Awad answered “have you seen them promote this fight yet?”

“That said, I am the co-main event,” he concluded, “and I’m going to make noise this fight. I’m going to go out there and be exiting. It’s one of those things, you’re not going to be able to look away.”

Saad Awad faces J.J. Ambrose at Bellator 193 on Friday in Temecula, California. The main card airs free on the Paramount Network starting at 9PM EST.