With NFC tournament win, Maurice Abévi announces arrival as top prospect

Maurice Abévi is a 21-year-old welterweight from Switzerland who trains out of 360 Martial Arts in Zurich, and with a recent tournament win at NFC 7: Series Finale, a prospect to watch.

After going 3-1 as an amateur, he now stands at 6-0 as a professional and has finished every single one of his nine victories in MMA.

He won his first pro fight in 2020 by spinning back kick, followed by a flying knee stoppage in just 25 seconds.

Abévi’s second pro fight took place in the NFC (a German promotion) preseason, where he got the first-round finish via ground and pound.

His second fight in the NFC came against Djabrail Djabrailov, who stepped in to fight Abévi on short notice. The first round was a crazy brawl. Ábevi came out on top, submitting Djabrailov in the second round with a rear-naked-choke after hurting him multiple times on the feet in rounds one and two.

This win qualified him to the quarter finals of the NFC Series, where he faced fellow prospect Kennedy Rayomba.

Round one of that fight was, again, a chaotic round with the striking being hotly contested until the Switzerland native managed to get the fight to the ground at the end of the round. Round two started out with Abévi landing the better strikes and getting the takedown early, dominating Rayomba the whole round and submitting him with a mere four seconds left via guillotine choke, subsequently moving to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Just over one month later, he faced the highly-touted Florim Zendeli, who was 5-0 at the time and who also came off a win over Kennedy Rayomba.

Maurice Abévi came into this fight as a pretty heavy underdog, but moreso because Zendeli was thought of very highly.

The fight started out with Abévi landing the better strikes on the feet and being able to neutralise Zendeli’s strong wrestling, reversing a takedown as well as taking the back of the Albanian for some time. With a minute left in the first round, Abévi started teeing off and ended the fight with three right hands in a row, putting Zendeli out on his feet.

It was an incredibly impressive performance, and it put Abévi into the final of the NFC Series.

The finale took place on the 18th of December in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Abévi faced Angolian Chequina Noso Pedro, who was another strong prospect at 5-0. Pedro was the shorter fighter, but was significantly more muscular.

Abévi started the fight out with a flying knee; this led to Pedro clinching him and trying to take him down, but the young Swiss fighter managed to reverse the takedown and get on top. After settling in the guard, Pedro threw up an armbar that looked pretty deep but Abévi managed to roll out of it, right into the leg of Pedro, going for a calf slicer.

What seemed to be an overconfident maneuver ended up scoring him the submission victory with just over one minute fought in the round, an even more impressive performance than Abévi had against Zendeli in the semi final.

Maurice Abévi earned the NFC Series belt for winning the welterweight tournament by submitting Chequina Noso Pedro, who had 3 submissions out of his 5 wins coming in.

The 22-year-old walked away with a check for over 11,000 Euros (roughly 12,500 USD) for winning the Final.

In his post-fight interview, Abévi described the victory as the next step on his journey to the UFC and mentioned hearing a pop in his arm when he was in the armbar.

This author would like to see Abévi on the Contender Series in 2022. The best case scenario would be for him to have a fight before making that appearance, but one wouldn’t be overestimating Abévi to think he would have a chance competing on the show next season outright.