“I’m no Jon Jones, but I’m doing okay!”
Prince Aounallah is one of those people who doesn’t do anything by halves. And so it follows that from the moment he discovered MMA, he gave it his all.
“When I started, at 20 years old, I dropped everything, and I put my 100% into it. At that time, even my work and my private life took a back seat,” he explains today, with the hindsight of a 30-year-old. But it was difficult to make a living from a passion that was forbidden in France. “It was complicated, and it didn’t pay off in terms of my investment.”
Yet, even if he didn’t get the results he wanted, Prince Aounallah doesn’t regret for a moment throwing his body and soul into the venture.
“As a man, practicing martial arts at this level required a lot of values and sacrifices. During this period, I evolved and learned a lot about myself. If I had to do it again, I would do it with pleasure.
“My strong point is my fighting intelligence”
After long commitment to the discipline, the Frenchman reached a point where he felt the need “to take a break”.
So he took three years off. Three years without fighting, marked, among other things, by lockdown, the birth of his children and significant enough weight gain to push him now into heavyweight category, like his idol and legend Fedor Emilianenko. In fact his commonalities with the Russian doesn’t stop there. Like him, Prince Aounallah began in martial arts with sambo, although he quickly converted to MMA.
“I think I am a rounded fighter. I do not have a particular area of strength because I have always practised everything. On the other hand, my strong point, I would say, is my fighting intelligence. I always manage to adapt, to establish the right strategies… I am not Jon Jones, but I’m doing okay!”