MANILA, Philippines – The father of Cristine Reyes’ child is not only a model but a bona fide former mixed martial arts (MMA) champion.
Ali Khatibi used to be the featherweight champion of Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), the local version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In an interview with Large on Sports, Khatibi admitted that he was overwhelmed by the attention he received after it was reported that he is the father of Reyes’ baby.
“I knew there was gonna be some buzz but I never expected it to be like this. It's overwhelming. Cristine obviously knows how to deal with this but me I'm still overwhelmed,” said the 31-year-old model who already appeared on the pages of Cosmopolitan Philippines.
He said he hopes to use his newfound popularity to promote the sport of MMA in the Philippines.
Although the sport has become popular through the UFC, MMA remains in its infancy stage here in the country.
“If I can bring more attention to local mixed martial arts, that would be perfect. It's still a growing sport here in the country even though it's been around for quite some time. I strongly encourage everyone out there to follow and support local MMA fighters,” said Khatibi.
As a fighter, he holds a record of 1-1. He has yet to return to the ring since he last fought in November 2013.
“[I’ll be returning] very, very soon. My only concern at the moment is ring rust but my team should be able to address that. I honestly feel this is the best time to fight. I've regained the hunger I lost when I slacked off before,” he said.
Khatibi opened up that he met Reyes through a common friend. The sexy actress told him she always wanted to study Jiu-Jitsu so he invited her over to the gym.
Their relationship blossomed after that.
Khatibi described Reyes as a very good student. “Truth be told, she is doing very well. She has a high level of skill right now that I actually feel she is ready for competition,” he said.
“But obviously, for now that has to wait, but after the baby comes, I know she will do well in tournaments.”