The tatami adventurer
Despite his atypical training format, Sofiane Aïssaoui has found the recipe for top-level performance. Always on the road, in the four corners of France, the man from Rémois will this time be fighting at home, on June 17th, at HEXAGONE MMA 9.
Sofiane Aïssaoui defines himself as a nomad. “I live in Reims, but I train just about everywhere: Dijon, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, Roubaix, Le Havre… When I talk to people from Paris, and I tell them that I travel 6 hours to get there for 1h30, they always reply: ‘Oh yeah, you’re passionate.” Yet MMA wasn’t always obvious to Sofiane Aïssaoui. He even got into it by chance, in the course of fights between friends involving… fighting over simple sandwiches. “When I was young, we used to fight each other and bet on kebabs,” says the 31-year-old father with a smile. “Some did kick-boxing, others were just brawlers. If we were unlucky, we’d do it on tar, and the times we had tatamis, it was royal!” These experiences prompted Sofiane, a judoka by training, to turn to mixed martial arts.
“Passion is measured by quality, not quantity”.
“Everything happened very quickly. I took the tests to join the French MMA team, finished first, and then went on to the world and European championships. For a year and a half, I really had a very consistent amateur career.” Thanks to his particular style, marked by real versatility, the man from Rémois eventually made his mark with the professionals, racking up submission wins, among other things. “In fact, I don’t really have a strong point, and that’s what makes it difficult for my opponents. Before, I absolutely wanted to go to the ground, because of my judo background. But that’s not even the case anymore. Over the years, Sofiane Aïssaoui has above all succeeded in putting his intelligence at the service of performance. “I’m not one of those fighters who train 24/7. My mentality is based on the principle that passion is measured by quality, not quantity.