Sabah Homasi had to learn a lot during his brief stint with the UFC. But, those lessons made him the fighter that he is today.
Homasi faces Brennan Ward on Saturday at Bellator 290, which takes place at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The welterweight tilt serves as the first Bellator fight to take place on CBS network television.
The 34-year-old went winless in three fights inside the UFC’s octagon between August 2016 and January 2018 before being released. Now getting ready to compete for the eighth straight time in Bellator, Homasi has seen the difference in not only himself as a fighter, but also between life as a Bellator fighter compared to a UFC fighter.
“I always knew I had the skill set, but it was always a mental challenge for me,” Homasi told MMA Fighting. It would be completely different under those bright lights. Now, I’ve become one with that. I know how to handle the stress and the pressures going into it. My mental maturity is different for everyone. I know fighters, or athletes in general, everyone blooms at a different time. Everybody has their own time.
“There’s no quit in me. Although my record isn’t perfect, there are many blemishes on it. I’m 17-10. But goddamnit, have I learned from every one of those losses? Did I learn anything from them? Absolutely. With the people I train with you, it’s impossible to not grow. All you need to do at American Top Team is f ****** be there. You’ll get better if you just show up and put in your work.
” I don’t remember when it happened, but the f ****** switch just clicked. It was after the UFC’s s*** run. Now, these fighters in UFC, I am able to hang with each one of them motherf ******,, but the pay between Bellator & the UFC are significantly different.
“I thought, ‘Holy s***, I’m released from the UFC’ — and I worked 10 years to get that f****** point. I finally get there, had a s*** run. These were lessons for me. I made mistakes, and they will never happen again.”
Homasi clearly enjoys the response from his fans whenever he competes. This has helped him to a little bit at this point in his career. He certainly as aspirations of being more than just the action fighter, but he is more than happy to let the chips fall where they may.
“I take it one fight at a time, I need to see what is in front of me,” Homasi said. “There is no discussion about the top five opponents or any titles, unless I get this win on Saturday. If a title shot is meant to be, it will come. I just need to take care of what’s in front of me, and I just want to improve, because you can’t stop learning in this game. Every day you f****** learn something.”
Ward, who is also a Homasi fighter, enters Saturday’s fight on the heels two consecutive win. After a nearly five-year layoff, he returned to competition in 2022 where he picked up stoppages of Brandon Bell and Kassius Kane.
Homasi defeated Maycon Mendonca second in his last outing at Bellator 282,. He is anticipating an intense battle with Ward when they meet in historic fight for the promotion.
“It’s going to be a banger,” Homasi predicts. “I just need to go in there with my head on straight and I’ll come out with my hand raised, and another ‘W’ on my record. We’ve been trying to make it happen, and it finally did. I’m just glad this fight came to fruition.
“But ‘The Big Sabowski’ is going to win in f****** spectacular fashion.”