Prospects to Watch at UAE Warriors 14: Campo vs. Fiorot

Manon Fiorot celebrates a win in the IMMAF tournament. Credit: Julien Brondani.

One of the Middle East’s top promotions, UAE Warriors, is back with what is perhaps their most stacked card on paper in recent memory, UAE Warriors 14: Campo vs. Fiorot.

The 15-fight event, scheduled for Friday, November 27 with a start time of 12:00 PM ET, features two title fights, PFL standouts, and prospects galore.

Below are some of the event’s top prospects to keep an eye on. For the purpose of this article series, a “prospect” will be considered to be a fighter under the age of 30, but the total number of fights a fighter has will not be considered either qualifying or disqualifying as part of the criteria.

Manon Fiorot (4-1)

  • Name: Manon Fiorot
  • Nationality: France
  • Division: Flyweight
  • Age: 28
  • Record: 4-1 MMA, 2-0 UAE Warriors

With the sport of mixed martial arts finally legalized in France, ex-EFC flyweight champion Manon Fiorot (4-1) is in a prime position to become a star.

The 28-year-old began her MMA rise long before turning pro, fighting five times as an amateur under the International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF) banner. Going a solid 3-2 as an amateur, Fiorot earned honors beyond her record; she was the runner-up in the 2017 IMMAF European Championships and the winner of the 2017 IMMAF World Championships at her weight class.

Fiorot was thrown into the deep end as she began her pro career, dropping a split decision to eventual Bellator signee Leah McCourt (4-1) – at a catchweight of 138 pounds, no less – in top U.K. promotion Cage Warriors for her pro debut. She then signed with South Africa’s EFC Worldwide, where she competed on the second season of the organization’s version of The Ultimate Fighter, “The Fighter.”

Fiorot won her two exhibition matches on the show, earning a multi-fight deal and a title fight. She’s been perfect since, scoring an impressive three knockout victories — and four total — in both EFC and UAE Warriors. She will face her stiffest test yet in fellow finisher and Ronin Fight champion, Gabriela Campo (6-1).

Should Fiorot score a victory here, she would be a prime candidate to be snatched up by an organization with plans to promote events in France, like the UFC, Bellator, or ARES FC. There is also the added appeal of a McCourt rematch, should she sign with Bellator.

MMA-Prospects has learned that Fiorot turned down a short-notice fight at the UFC’s Fight Island earlier this year due to undisclosed reasons.

Xavier Alaoui (11-3)

  • Name: Xavier Alaoui
  • Nationality: Canada
  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Age: 29
  • Record: 11-3 MMA, 3-1 TKO MMA

In the co-main event of UAE Warriors 14, Canada’s Xavier Alaoui (11-3) will challenge promotional veteran Juares Dea (7-2) for the organization’s bantamweight title. The pair were set to fight once prior in September, but a Dea withdrawal scuffed the plans.

Alaoui, 29, is a product of Firas Zahabi at the renowned coach’s Tristar gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A submission special with five such stoppages to his name, Alaoui amassed an extensive and equally impressive 11-1 record as an amateur before turning pro in 2014.

Alaoui competed at a high level both domestically, in TKO MMA, and abroad, in Russia’s ACB. A tough fighter who has never been finished as a professional, Alaoui’s most notable attack is his slick leglock arsenal.

If the fight hits the mat, look for Alaoui to showcase his positional control and grappling savvy. With a win, Alaoui would push his current winning streak to four straight fights.

Alaoui spoke to MMA-Prospects’ Sergio Piniero ahead of the fight. That interview is available here.

Juares Dea (7-2)

  • Name: Juares Dea
  • Nationality: Cameroon
  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Age: 26
  • Record: 7-2, 1 NC MMA, 4-0, 1 NC UAE Warriors

The other half of the co-main event, Juares Dea (7-2), is an equally exciting prospect. Nicknamed the “Crazy Cameroonian,” the Cobra Fitness UAE product proves the moniker apt in each and every fight, winging punches and slamming opponents with reckless abandon.

A crisp and powerful striker, Dea earned his stripes on the Middle Eastern MMA scene, fighting for regional staples Phoenix FC and extensively for UAE Warriors.

Dea has fought eventual UFC signee Ali Al-Qaisi (8-5), another standout from the region, and has defeated the likes of BRAVE CF veteran Kantharaj Shankar Agasa (11-2) and Russian prospect Magomed Abdurakhimov (7-3).

Also having competed in kickboxing, Dea’s high octane striking is his bread and butter, but his off the charts athleticism permits him to get out of bad positions on the ground. Whether it will be enough to withstand Alaoui’s superb grappling chops is yet to be seen.

Dea recently signed with management firm Suckerpunch Entertainment after spending time training with Suckerpunch athlete and UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang, which may signal bigger opportunities on the horizon for the title hopeful, should he earn his biggest win to date at UAE Warriors 14.

Martin Mezhulmyan (10-1)

  • Name: Martin Mezhulmyan
  • Nationality: Armenia
  • Division: Lightweight
  • Age: 27
  • Record: 10-1 MMA, 4-0 Thunder MMA

While not a title fight, the lightweight bout between PFL fighter Islam Mamedov (18-1-1) and Armenia’s Martin Mezhulmyan (10-1) might very well be the best, and most high-profile, fight of the night.

Mamedov is on loan from the PFL, which allowed fighters to compete elsewhere following the cancelation of their planned 2020 season due to COVID-19. He will prove a stiff test for the 27-year-old Mezhulmyan.

Competing largely on the Eastern European and Russian regional scene – including a bout in M-1 and appearances in Thunder, Berkut Fighting Championship, and Moldova’s Eagles Next Level – Mezhulmyan has faced admittedly inexperienced opposition to date; excluding his last opponent, one-fight Bellator veteran Valeriu Mircea (25-6-1), the record of his first ten opponents stood at a combined 10-8 at the time he fought them.

Obvious lack of high-quality competition aside, the explosive Mezhulmyan has made quick work of his opponents to date. Of his ten wins, six have come by knockout and two by submission, almost always in the very first round.

This author believes a fight with Mamedov – a PFL semifinalist who holds a prior win over back-to-back lightweight tournament winner Natan Schulte – is far too much, too soon for Mezhulmyan, but he remains an athlete to keep an eye on in the region.

Should he shock the world and hand Mamedov his first loss since a 2009 TKO at the hands of Bellator veteran and recent ACA title challenger Alexander Sarnavskiy, Mezhulmyan instantly rockets up the prospect ranks.