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MMA: double champion, sporting prodigy, training with Doumbé and BSD... Who is Salahdine Parnasse?

Holder of the KSW featherweight (-66kg) and lightweight (-70kg) titles, Salahdine Parnasse is the headliner of the Polish organization's event this Saturday in Paris.

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MMA: double champion, sporting prodigy, training with Doumbé and BSD... Who is Salahdine Parnasse?

Holder of the KSW featherweight (-66kg) and lightweight (-70kg) titles, Salahdine Parnasse is the headliner of the Polish organization's event this Saturday in Paris. In front of an audience won over to his cause, the Ile-de-France native must defend his lightweight belt against Moldovan interim champion Valeriu Mircea.

A challenge well within the reach of the “prodigy” to aim higher in sport. Before we dive into the fight, here's what you need to know about the 26-year-old fighter.

Born in December 1997 in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis). Blessed with a talent for MMA, to the point of impressing his coaches since entering the sport at just 11 years old. Titled at featherweight at just 23 years old, in a sport where fighters generally emerge around their thirties. Crowned with the nickname “the French MMA prodigy”, Salahdine Parnasse was quickly compared to Kylian Mbappé.

Also read: Mbappé, Cassel, DJ Snake: the stars expected at Bercy for the Doumbè-Baki MMA fight

Since his childhood, Salahdine Parnasse's future has been mapped out. “Salahdine is just exceptional. He will delight you. He knows how to do everything. Standing up, it's a symphony. On the ground, he fights instinctively. It’s Mohamed Ali the French way,” explains his trainer and manager Stéphane Chaufourier. Considered the leader of the new generation of specialist MMA fighters (with Baki or Patrick Habirora), Salahdine's objective - just like Kylian Mbappé - is set in stone: to become number 1 in his sport.

To achieve this objective, Salahdine Parnasse can count on those around him, particularly sportspeople. Licensed from a young age at the “Atch” Academy, the young French fighter benefits from the experience of Stéphane Chaufourier. Better known behind the surname “Atch”, the latter is one of the pioneers of MMA in France when the sport was still banned. Less publicized than Fernand Lopez or Daniel Woirin, Atch has nevertheless - since 2005 - promoted pankration thanks to annual events in front of more than 5,000 people: the Xtrem Gladiators.

Salahdine Parnasse therefore put his career in the hands of a founding father of sport in France and has followed, since the death of his father, the career plan planned by his coach to the letter. “He has more than the level to go to the UFC,” Atch already estimated in 2023 at the microphone of RMC. Widely. But we don't want to skip steps. The UFC is a sports business. Salah's dream is to be world number one. Give us time to get it right. »

No UFC, no PFL, no Bellator. And yet Salahdine Parnasse is not idle. With a record of 18 victories for 2 defeats, the 26-year-old fighter is even classified, according to several sports news sites, as the first Frenchman in the featherweight category. In front of William Gomis or Morgan Charrière, who fight in the prestigious UFC.

Salahdine Parnasse acquired this recognition in the ranks of the Polish organization KSW. An organization, unknown to the general French public, but established in the world MMA landscape thanks to its sold-out events in football stadiums in Poland.

Within the organization, Salahdine Parnasse quickly convinced. In just four fights, the Frenchman won the interim featherweight belt before falling heavily to Daniel Torres in the belt unification fight. Since then, Salahdine Parnasse has been imperial. A fight to revive himself, a featherweight belt, a breathtaking rise to lightweight until winning the belt and becoming the holder of two titles simultaneously.

Last December, Salahdine attempted the unprecedented challenge in the MMA world of moving up a category for the second time to become a triple champion. Head to welterweights (-77kg). In a tactical fight, the march was ultimately too high for the Frenchman who bowed to the decision. “On our lands, Salah’ would have had the belt. Afterwards we were in Polish lands,” Atch implied this week for RMC. This Saturday, Salahdine Parnasse will have the opportunity to prove on French soil that he can once again get back on track after a defeat.

If Salahdine Parnasse is not the fighter best known to the general public, he is recognized by his peers. On YouTube and Instagram, the fighters never fail to publish photos or videos with the Ile-de-France resident. The most consistent is undoubtedly the sultry PFL fighter Cédric Doumbé. The Franco-Cameroonian training in the premises of the Atch Academy.

But Salahdine Parnasse also toured with Baysangur “Baki” Chamsoudinov or more recently with Benoît Saint-Denis in the Basque Country, during his preparation for the fight against Dustin Poirier.

If Salahdine Parnasse's career seems mapped out in advance towards the summits of the sport, Saturday's fight remains no less fundamental in the Frenchman's rise. “Going to find opponents at KSW, it becomes very complicated,” explains Atch at the microphone of RMC, explaining why Salahdine’s opponent for this Saturday was only known a month in advance. It's very inconvenient compared to the preparation. » This meeting point between Salahdine Parnasse and the French, this Saturday at the Adidas Arena could therefore mark the advent of the champion towards other organizations.

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