An Iraqi MMA fighter -who worked with and was saved by US Marines- had a rather stellar guardian in his entourage on fight night this weekend- the “Star Lord” himself, actor and all-around good guy Chris Pratt.
Fighter Adel “Kyokushin” Altamimi stepped out into the Bellator 214 on Saturday night flanked by Pratt, who befriended him while training at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable Gym in Los Angeles.
After becoming good buddies, Altamimi asked Pratt if he wanted to walk him to the cage.
Pratt has been public about their friendship, and congratulated Altamimi in November, saying, “Can’t wait for the rest of the world to watch him fight and share his unbelievable story.”
Altamimi did not disappoint- during the event, he tapped out Brandon McMahan.
A true scrapper with a backstory to match, Altamimi grew up in Iraq and, as a contractor, drove convoys for the US Marine Corps before he was captured by Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), ultimately depending on the Marines to rescue him- but not before he watched AQI agents kill his cousin and best friend before his eyes. In fact, Cageside Press reported that Altamimi was mere seconds from having his own throat slit when the Marines raided the place where he was to die.
Following his rescue, Altamimi was sent to the USA, where he met individuals like Chris Pratt and Jay Glazer, who were more than willing to encourage him to fight his way to stardom.
At 29 years of age, Altamimi has earned his way into the fighting circle and the hearts of American fans who appreciate him. To the US Marines who saved him, he is no doubt an example of “something good” that came from their time in Iraq.
(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Altamimi as a veteran of the US Marine Corps. He was contracted by the USMC to perform services overseas.)
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