Bassil Hafez Is Here To Stay

And who better to do that against than the popular Gall, who Hafez actually beat in a grappling tournament over a decade ago.

“Fighting Mickey has a lot meaning to it because we’re from the area,” said Hafez. “We’ve competed in a lot of the same promotions. I actually beat him in a Grapplers Quest absolute final 11 years ago. So I have history with Mickey. Ge got signed when he got signed and I didn’t get signed. We both made our pro debuts months apart and he’s had, I think, a lot easier path and he’s been making good money and living his life. And I’ve had a really long, hard path that almost stopped me from getting to the UFC. And so, I have a lot of that in my mind where I feel he’s been spoon-fed a little bit, and I’m excited to really rip that spoon out of his mouth and beat him with it.”

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Hafez chuckles, perhaps taking in the fact that he can talk about fighting in the UFC and it being a reality. He’s earned everything he’s got over the years, has weathered several storms, most notably the loss of his mother and father due to cancer, and while he’s dead serious about his job, he’s also taking it all in.

“It’s a blessing to breathe air,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to fight because not everyone could do this. It’s a blessing that my body still works at 32 years old after 14 years of training, that I can still compete at the highest level in the UFC. And so, the trauma that I’ve been through in life has an effect on that. I think the biggest thing is, don’t allow the trauma that you go through to dictate your future life. Allow yourself to put that stake in the ground and change the direction you’re going to go. And, for me, the biggest thing is realizing the truth that life could end at any moment. And sometimes, things aren’t as great as they seem, but you have the power to change it. And as long as you work your ass off and you show that you’re working your ass off and you gravitate towards the right people, things are going to work out in your favor eventually.”

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