As if Fight Club Rush 16 wasn't already stacked, a sizzling lightweight match up was just added to the card. Gothenburg-based striker Sahil Siraj (7-2) will return to FCR to take on hardened Finnish veteran Patrik Pietilä (12-11)!
Siraj trains at the renowned gym Fighter Centre, alongside FCR flyweight title challenger Renato Vidovic. He amassed several impressive wins in his native Afghanistan before coming to Sweden, before making his pro MMA debut in 2015, winning via knockout just 20 seconds into the first round.
From there Siraj continued lining up finishes before earning a clear-cut decision win over Italian Gregorio Davide La Torre. Standing with a perfect 5-0 record Siraj earned a FCR 9 main event bout with the much more experienced Austrian powerhouse Arbi Mezhidov. The fight was incredibly close and ended up going the distance, with Mezhidov winning a much-disputed split decision.
Following that loss Siraj lined up two more knockout wins before making his debut with Polish super promotion KSW. Sadly, though, Siraj would end up getting knocked out by Lukasz Rajewski.
Grizzled vet Pietilä has competed since 2013 and has fought many of the toughest fighters in Europe, such as Anthony Dizy, Toni Lampinen, Ryan Roddy and Umar Nurmagomedov.
The Finn has some crucial stats on his side as well, as he has defeated every Swede he has ever faced! His first win over a Swede came against FCR alumn Arman Popal in 2015, and after that a submission win over Sweden-based Iranian Saeed Ganji.
In the summer of 2019 Pietilä faced Swedish UFC veteran David Bielkheden. Despite heading into the bout as an underdog Pietilä rocked his opponent early, securing and holding on to a lead as the fight came to a close, winning a decision.
After that bout Pietiä went on a losing streak but turned things around at FCR 15 in February of this year, as he finished FCR favourite Moe Ahmadi via second round TKO - improving to 4-0 vs Swedish-based fighters.
Siraj is losing for a return to the win column, but statistically the crafty veteran Pietilä holds the upper hand - making for an exciting match up!