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Algerian teacher Souhil Tahiri swaps his classroom for the cage at PFL Mena 2

Souhil Tahiri is one of those enviable people who excels in two completely different fields. The first is his career as a full-time university lecturer in mathematics, the second, his life as a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter.

On top of that, he also finds time to coach MMA and spend time with his wife and two kids.

Tahiri, 32, is just under two weeks out from his debut in the Professional Fighters League at "PFL Mena 2" in Riyadh on July 12. The Marseille-based Algerian, with a professional career record of 6-4-1, takes on the Egyptian Amir Ahmed (12-4-1) in a lightweight contest on the main card.

Despite his MMA career venturing into elite territory with the ambitious PFL, Tahiri's first passion remains the classroom, not the cage.

“Teaching is the one I enjoy most. I’m a lecturer at university, teaching mathematics and I also do research in the applied mathematics field, especially in medical imaging,” he told The National as he prepares for his biggest MMA fight to date.

“I love teaching, and really, it's my favourite job in all the world. If I have to do just one thing in my entire life, it will be teaching because, for me, it’s the best way to continue learning. I'm an eternal student. I always want to learn. So, the best way to always learn is to teach.

“Then I'm training because I'm a professional fighter. I'm also coaching. I spend around four to five hours of coaching Luta Livre, which is a grappling style coming from Brazil, and conducting MMA courses for ladies with my wife.”

Tahiri dedicates his success to the people around him. He explains that success in several fields is only possible with the support of those around you.

“I've been mixing studies and combat sports for over 13 years," he said.