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Tarec

Tarec Saffiedine is among the top athletes in his home country of Belgium. It has taken incredible determination for Tarec to aspire to and achieve a ranking in the top 10 worldwide MMA fighters in his class, coming from a country where MMA is not recognized as a professional federation. Training began for him informally, at 16, with some of his friends. Tarec was quickly very successful in many amateur fights in Belgium. But Tarec had big dreams of advancing to the pros- something that was not a possibility in Belgium. He made the difficult decision to move his family to the USA. In 2007, at the age of 22, Tarec landed in Temecula, California and advanced his training with MMA legend, Dan Henderson and Team Quest.

Since beginning his pro career in 2007, Tarec’s striking accuracy has earned him acclaim and spots in top MMA promotions like DREAM, STRIKEFORCE, and the UFC. In 2009, with his defeat of Seichi Ikemoto, Tarec won the DREAM 10 Welterweight Grand Prix and became the first Belgium in history to win a pro fight in Japan. In 2013, Tarec went on to accomplish the incredible capture of the third and final STRIKEFORCE Welterweight Championship by conquering Nate Marquardt.

Tarec has determined that the UFC welterweight championship is on his list of goals. With his record and incredible abilities, he is one to keep your eye on.

A few facts you may or may not know about Sponge:


• His full name is Tarec Robert Saffiedine, but he earned the nickname “Sponge” because one of his early coaches said that Tarec was a quick learner.
• He was born in Brussels, Belgium on September 6, 1986.
• Tarec is 5’ 10” (177 cm) and 170 lbs (77kg)
• Around the age of 16, young Tarec began training in MMA in Belgium. Soon thereafter, he began training in Shihaishinkai Karate and got his blackbelt in 2005 (age 20).
• Tarec says that his favorite grappling technique is the armbar and his favorite striking technique is leg kicks.
• Tarec is ranked #10 in the welterweight class in UFC and is noted as a “contender” in the welterweight category by Sherdog.
• Tarec fights out of Temecula, California, is married to Silvia Saffiedine and has 2 kids.

Some of Sponge’s notable Mixed Martial Arts accomplishments:

UFC Fight Night win against Hyun Gyu Lim. This win earned Tarec the Fight of the Night award. (2014)
STRIKEFORCE Welterweight Championship win against Nate Marquardt (2013)
STRIKEFORCE: Rousey vs. Kaufman win against Roger Bowling (2012 )
STRIKEFORCE: Rockhold vs. Jardine win against Tyler Stinson (2012)
STRIKEFORCE: Fedor vs. Henderson win against Scott Smith (2011)Shark Fights 13: win against Brock Larson (2010)
STRIKEFORCE Challengers: Lindland vs. Casey, championship win by knockout against Nate Moore (2010)
STRIKEFORCE Challengers: Kaufman vs. Hashi, win against James Terry (2010)
DREAM 10 Welterweight Grand Prix Final win against Seichi Ikemoto (2009)