MMAer Escaped Arranged Marriage, Homeless Life

On Saturday night Iman Achhal made her debut as an MMA fighter as part of the undercard at Ultimate Warrior Challenge 5: Man “O” War. The Moroccan would emerge victorious from her bout over Felice “Lil Bulldog” Herrig in a split decision, but as Achhal would surely tell you, fighting somebody inside a cage is not the toughest thing she’s ever done.

Before coming to the United States from Morocco, Achhal didn’t have the easiest life, and things haven’t been much easier since she got here.


Many fighters have had tough paths to the cage. Some have come up from poor families, been beaten by their parents or have seen mixed martial arts as their only way out. Iman Acchal has faced all of those things and crossed an ocean to become a fighter.

Achhal was born in Morocco and is Muslim. As is the custom, her parents arranged for her to be married to a man she didn’t know. After seeing friends go through the same custom and be unhappy, she decided that she needed to leave and go to America. That wasn’t very easy, as her parents would not receive the money they were promised for her wedding if Iman left. When she told her parents she was leaving, her mom beat her. As she said “Even as an MMA fighter, that was the worst beating of my life.”

Life wasn’t much easier when Achhal reached the United States as before climbing up the women’s MMA charts she spent quite a bit of time homeless as well.

Though Achhal isn’t the only person in this country who has had it tough. Did you know one time I stubbed the big toe on my right foot really badly on a table leg? I did, and it hurt like hell.  Of course that didn’t stop me from walking out to my car, getting in that sucker, and driving all the way to the strip club. The pain was excruciating, but did I complain about it to Bambi as she gave me a lap dance? No. I just kept my mouth shut and paid my $15 for a watered down glass of Maker’s Mark like a man is supposed to.

Now I ask you, where’s my blog post?