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Soufian Haj Haddou hopes the ‘Meteorite Punch’ puts him on the UFC’s radar

Soufian Haj Haddou had a lot of expectation on his shoulders heading into his second outing of 2017 when he was booked to fight Marcel Jedidi at GMC 13 in Dusseldorf on Dec. 16.

After a two-year hiatus from mixed-martial arts, the economics and engineering student returned to action earlier in the year, banking what he claims is the quickest knockout in German MMA this year, a 14-second finish of Wandenberg Nascimento.

When he met Jedidi in mid-December, Haj Haddou found himself in a similar position to a lot of fighters who have faced confident grapplers. Jedidi – in an attempt to lure the 26-year-old into his guard – lay on his back with his hands behind his head.

Instead of backing off and waiting for the referee to stand his opponent up, Haj Haddou leapt in to the air and landed a spectacular flying punch on Jedidi, rendering him unconscious on contact.

The world would come to know the strike as the ‘Meteorite Punch’ when the finish went viral in the hours after GMC 13, but according to Haj Haddou, he had no idea how much his stoppage win would have an impact on the international MMA community.

“I didn’t think it would go viral in this way,” he told

“It’s been on so many social media platforms. When I saw it all over the place I realized how big it was. Right after the win, I had no idea it was going to be this big. All that was important to me was getting the win because my family and friends were there. I was happy with the win, I wasn’t even thinking about the punch.

“After the fight, I went to see my family and my friends. It was only when I watched it on their phones that I realized that it was special.”

The German usually only uses the movement he displayed before landing the punch when passing the guard. Usually, the goal is just to get passed his counterpart’s legs rather than landing a lethal blow.

“We train for a lot of situations like that, but it’s usually only to pass the guard. We try to get side control and work from there,” he explained.

“I knew that my opponent was good on the ground and that he had some really good submissions. He was waiting for me to come onto the ground, so I was thinking about getting to side control. I thought that would be safe.”

It was only when he was in mid-air that he decided to throw the right hand that would end Jedidi’s night:

“When I jumped I thought, ‘Okay, let’s punch this guy’. Usually, I just block the legs with my left arm so my opponent can’t kick me and take side control. That’s always been a strong position for me.”

Haj Haddou hopes that the Meteorite Punch will open up possibilities for fighters around the world when it comes to grounded strikes.

“I expect to see a lot of people trying to do similar things. It’s something that has never been seen before. The reaction was so amazing and so many people were talking about it,” he said.

“I think many fighters will try this in training, but doing it a fight is a completely different story. In terms of safety, it’s something that people will feel more comfortable doing in the gym.

“For me, I saw the superman punch and I did it in training for fun. It will be the same for the meteorite punch.”

Although he knows that a lot of people will be hoping for him to attempt to land the viral knockout the next time he fights, Haj Haddou thinks impossible to map out anything that happens in a fight.

“I don’t think you can do things like this a lot. I think people will want to see me do it the next time I fight, but it really isn’t the type of thing you can plan to do. It must come naturally and in the moment.”

Haj Haddou highlighted that getting a hat tip from Ariel Helwani and Eric Jackman is the biggest thing that has come from the his viral victory.

“Before this, nobody really knew me. Ariel Helwani showing the clip of the knockout on The MMA After Hour was probably the biggest thing that’s happened,” he said.

“After that, a lot of other big names who watch the show started to talk about it too. Now a lot more people know me, maybe even some matchmakers picked up on it.”

After two back-to-back camps, Haj Haddou hopes to take some time off before returning under the GMC banner in the new year. As far as he is concerned, his new found ability to score knockout wins could open a lot of doors for him. With his newfound viral fame, he hopes that he can attract the attention of the UFC.

“UFC is always the dream and now that I’ve returned after taking some time off, I feel like I’m a completely different fighter than I was before. People know my name now and if I keep on winning that could lead to big things for me in the future.”

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