He is currently the Middle East's top Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter in his weight group, but Jordan's Jarrah Al-Silawi is only getting started.

Dubbed "The Jordanian Lion", the 26-year-old competes in the welterweight class and boasts 11 wins and only two losses during his professional career.

In a talk with StepFeed, Al-Silawi spoke about his journey, shared his thoughts on the importance of self-defense, and sent an inspirational message to all those struggling to fulfill their goals.

On discovering his passion

Al-Silawi said he has been practicing self-defense ever since he was a child, making it an integral part of his identity.

"I find it very interesting and it is a big part of me. I feel happy when I practice this sport. Martial arts is a big part of my identity," he explained.

On overcoming obstacles

As is the case with most ambitious life goals, Al-Silawi's journey has been anything but easy. However, MMA has taught him to maintain a positive perspective and rise above the hardships, as "obstacles make us stronger".

"Fighting is a part of human nature. Each one of us is fighting, whether physically or metaphorically. While some fight in the cage or the ring, others fight for their dreams, for family, for the people they love, for the betterment of society, and so on. 

Martial arts teaches you to overcome obstacles and to not surrender to them. One can either worry about the obstacles - which would not change the situation - or one can fight on and rise above them," he explained.

On the state of MMA in the Arab world

"The growth of MMA in the Arab world sets an example on how leadership and a well-executed vision can transform sports and cause an international impact," he told StepFeed.

Al-Silawi then emphasized the role of the Brave Combat Federation, an organization established by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the son of Bahrain's ruler.

The federation brings together MMA athletes from across the globe, nurtures their talents, and offers a platform for them to train and compete professionally.

Source: Arabs MMA

"When Arab fighters started competing in the organization, which has signed over 250 fighters from around 50 nations, their skill levels drastically improved," Al-Silawi, who holds the highest number of victories in the organization, explained.

He added that unlike similar organizations in the West, the federation welcomes athletes from all backgrounds.

According to Al-Silawi, the federation motivates both established and up-and-coming athletes to "embrace their passion as a profession" and allows them to practice it globally.

Al-Silawi then pointed out that as a result of these efforts, Bahrain's MMA federation is currently ranked as the world's second best, according to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

On the significance of martial arts

Source: Tokopedia

According to Al-Silawi, martial arts training promotes focus and discipline, builds character, and motivates youths to lead healthy lives.

"On a philosophical note, martial arts help individuals develop self-awareness," he said, adding that "just because someone learns martial arts doesn't mean they need to fight".

Therefore, Al-Silawi and other MMA fighters often visit embassies, schools, gyms, and malls in Bahrain to promote the sport and raise awareness on health problems.

What's next for 'The Jordanian Lion'?

Al-Silawi is currently eyeing a victory at the Brave Combat Federation's welterweight championship, which is set to take place in Abu Dhabi in September. 

"I am determined to fulfill the dream of my coaches, family, friends, my countrymen and all those people who supported me by winning the championship," he concluded.