By: Lucas Green | Contributor
Foam mats, heavy bags, buzzers, gloves, sweat, pain, bodies thrown through the air, and a six-foot by thirty-foot cage. This is the world of one South student, Ali “Prince” Almohaini.
Almohaini grew up in Kuwait and described his early life as one of always being pampered,
“Life is different back home. I never had a job, I never cooked, and I never cleaned,” Almohaini said. “We had everything done for us. It’s not a good thing.”
His life of ease changed suddenly in 2015 with his move to the United States, realizing he had never struggled for much in his life. Almohainii began looking for something to put him through some adversity so he could “become a man on his own.” Fascinated with MMA fighting and professional wrestling when he was younger, Alomhaini naturally found himself drawn to that upon arriving in the states.
“MMA is a big part of this, ‘finding a struggle’ because without this my life would be so easy,” Almohaini said. MMA gave Almohaini a sense of discipline in his life that he felt he sorely needed, from what he ate, to getting proper sleep and taking care of his school work. As he describes it, “If there is a competition, everything is right in my life.”
Almohani made his amateur MMA debut on May 11, 2019, at Friction Fighting Championship 4 in Monroe, LA, against Jose Holguin in the Featherweight division. Almohani would go on to lose that fight, but to him, MMA is not just about winning,
“It’s about the confidence more than knowing how to fight. If you have the confidence, you won’t get bullied, and then if you have to, you will have to fight. People need martial arts, not Ju-jitsu, not MMA, any kind of martial arts.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Almohaini’s coach, Jimmy “Cornbread” Mills, a South Alabama Alumni. Mills finished his professional career with a 9-2 record in the middleweight division and multiple main events and even a co-main event at Cage Wars 9 with MMA Legend Dan Severn. To Mills, MMA is also about confidence.
“When you go to your car at night in the parking lot, and you’re alone, you don’t have to be scared. . . It gives you another level of confidence that you never had before,” said Mills. But in addition to the confidence boost MMA training gives you, Mills also sees it as a therapeutic release from daily life stressors. “It sounds crazy if you haven’t experienced it,” Mills says.
Mills coaches Almohaini at Port City Kickboxing on Airport Boulevard, and he encourages everyone to come and train with him. He also offers a discount to South Students, and you can reach them on their website pckickboxing.com.
Almohaini currently holds an amateur record of 1-3 in the Flyweight division and expects to make his return sometime in May and take the step from “Prince” to King of the Ring.