Plenty of fighters have made the transition from one combat sport to another, from single disciplines to mixed martial arts. For Mo Amine, however, he’s juggling duties in both GLORY, the leading kickboxing promotion, and the PFL, where he made his promotional debut earlier this year.
At GLORY 87 this Saturday, Amine enters a heavyweight grand prix qualifying tournament, with the possibility of two fights in a night. While he normally competes at 205lbs, for Amine, it was a matter of staying busy. “I wanted to fight a light heavyweight fighter in August, but nobody was ready,” he told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “Then GLORY told me ‘hey, do you want to participate in a heavyweight tournament?’ and I said ‘of course!'”
Amine takes on Bahram Rajabzadeh in the first round of this weekend’s tournament, and he’s not looking past his opponent. “All the fighters fight, but we’re not worried about the other two. We’re only worried about Bahram,” Amine said when asked about the rest of the field.
Bahram “is explosive, has a good right high kick, this is his highlight reel,” Amine broke down his opponent. “He gets tired really fast, and he did not face high-level opponents.” Aside from Sergej Maslobojev in 2019. “He lost that fight, and after that, he just fought bus drivers, taxi drivers. We didn’t see much from him. But Saturday I’m going to expose him.”
Given Rajabzadeh tires early in Amine’s opinion, dragging him into deep waters might be one route to success. “Or knock him out in the first. We can do both,” Amine suggested. After all, it is a tournament. “I’m confident to do both. I know very well he’s not going to make it with a full gas tank past the first round. To be honest I’m not worried about this guy. I did everything in my power to win over this guy, and I’ll showcase that Saturday.”
If all goes well this Saturday, Amine will have two wins and a spot in the heavyweight grand prix later this year. And if he gets his way, he’ll also have a spot on the upcoming PFL Paris card.
In fact, he’s spoken to the league about joining the September 30 event, the PFL’s debut in France. “Yeah we spoke about it. Maybe a late replacement or something. We’ll see.”
Amine is the rare fighter juggling both kickboxing and MMA these days. Part of that was the timing of the offers that came his way. “Both opportunities came at the same time. The PFL came with a contract, and GLORY came with a contract. At first I was just going to do MMA full time, and then GLORY came with a contract, and yeah. I’m a kickboxer.”
That said, Amine has something of an old school mentality when it comes to fighting. He looks to a different era for inspiration on juggling sports.
“I thought, let’s do both. Let’s show them it’s possible to do both at the same time. Because back in the day, in the old K-1 days and PRIDE days, they had them switching from MMA to kickboxing, back-and-forth. It’s something that’s possible, it’s something that’s from the old generation. And the new generation is afraid to do that. We care a lot about a loss, we care a lot about our records. To be honest, I don’t really care about records or losses. I care about legacy.”
Watch our full interview with Mo Amine above. GLORY 87 takes place this Saturday, August 19, 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.