Saad Awad has spent almost half of his professional career in Bellator MMA. A crafty veteran with a knack for finishing fights quickly, he will look to collect his fourth straight win at the expense of Ryan Couture in the Bellator 201 co-main event this Friday at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
As Awad approaches his showdown with Couture, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
16: First-round finishes, seven by submission and nine more by knockout or technical knockout.
74: Seconds needed to submit Kyle Olsen and capture the Gladiator Challenge lightweight championship. The win came eight months after Awad suffered his first pro loss to Nam Phan.
2: Two weight classes in which he has fought. Awad started as a lightweight when he defeated Art Ruiz by disqualification at a King of the Cage event on March 19, 2006. He has since gone on to compete at 170 pounds and owns a notable victory over Evangelista Santos, having stopped “Cyborg” with punches at Bellator 154 in 2016.
35: Years of age. Awad was born on June 7, 1983. He made his MMA debut as a 22-year-old and has since compiled a 22-9 record.
16: Fights in Bellator. Awad first appeared with the promotion at Bellator 10, where he submitted to a rear-naked choke from Diego Garijo in June 2009.
31: Seconds needed to knock out Guillaume DeLorenzi in the quarterfinals of the Season 8 lightweight tournament at Bellator 87. Awad went on to finish as the runner-up, though his loss to David Rickels in the tournament final was highly controversial. Rickels dropped Awad near the end of the second round, but instead of returning to his feet, he elected to rest on his back until the horn sounded. His decision prompted the referee to call for the stoppage between rounds.
4: Times he has suffered a broken hand, yet Awad shows no signs of slowing down. He now has a pair of screws resting beneath the skin to hold the bones together.
2: Fights with former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks. The two first met at Bellator 91, where Awad delivered a stunning knockout against the American Top Team standout in just 43 seconds. They met again at Bellator 105, with Brooks walking away with a unanimous decision.
3: Consecutive victories. Since his November 2016 defeat to Brennan Ward, Awad has rattled off wins against Ryan Quinn, Zach Freeman and J.J. Ambrose.