Sayif Saud, Head Coach
Sayif’s martial arts training began in his father’s dojo at the age of three. He won two state titles in the process of earning his black belt in judo. He then went on to study Shorin-Ryu karate and won four national titles. He received his black belt in 1997 from the United Karate-do Kai. Shortly after, Sayif focused his attention on academics and bodybuilding. He graduated with honors from Indiana University-Bloomington with a degree in Political Science, then attended law school at Indiana University-Indianapolis. During this time, Sayif also won several NPC bodybuilding competitions and was featured in multiple magazines.
Ultimately, Sayif’s passion for the martial arts led him to study with world-class trainer Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, NM from 2006-2009. While there, Sayif closely studied wrestling with former NCAA Division 1 champion and UFC vet Mike Van Arsdale & Renowned Coach Mike Winklejohn; being cornered by all of these coaches and former UFC champion Rashad Evans. Some of Sayif’s submission grappling accomplishments include winning Best of the West and American Championships tournaments and earning a Grappler’s Quest silver medal. Undefeated as an amateur, his competitive career culminated with an undefeated professional record of 3-0 in MMA but was cut short due to injury. He would go on to start coaching in 2009.
Now the Founder/Owner and Head Coach at Fortis MMA in Dallas, TX, Sayif is currently working with over 20 fighters in the UFC. Coach Saud’s team compiled a 40-5 record in 2011 and he was recognized as TXMMA’s “People’s Choice” for Coach Of The Year. He would also garner the distinction of Coach Of The Year (2013, 2014, and 2015) and awarded Team Of The Year in 2013 and again in 2014 while coaching at Octagon MMA. In 2015 Sayif would go on to build his vision of Fortis MMA from scratch. He created the gym after a year and a half of construction. Sayif took an old art gallery and added on to the space to create one of the most unique mma gyms in the world. Fortis mma opened in December of 2016. Sayif would create one of the winningest mma programs in the world. He would start with zero fighters in the UFC. Now Fortis has one of the largest teams in the world with over 20 UFC athletes competing in the premier fighting organization in the world. He would grow them at home becoming the winningest team on Contender series history and graduating 15 athletes into the UFC through Dana White’s show. The Fortis team would have the highest winning percentage of any team in the world in the UFC with a 16-4 record in 2018 and 19-5 record 2019. World MMA awards nominated Sayif for “Coach of the year and Fortis MMA for “Team of the year” as well 2019-2020. Sayif has 7 fighters ranked in the top 15 in the UFC. Fortis MMA would dominate again in 2022 winning over 20 fights in the UFC. The team would have some huge marquee wins and be selected as Gym of the year by MMAJUNKIE; recognized as the best MMA gym in the world.
Sayif would go on to train UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno who would capture the undisputed UFC flyweight title for a second time in Rio de janerio, Brazil on January 22nd, 2023. Sayif’s journey from humble beginnings to reaching the very pinnacle of the sport. Sayif also was recruited for a show he does for the UFC called UFC Breakdown. He breaks down all of the UFC main event title fights in detail. This show would have massive success and sometimes have over half a million views on UFC platforms. Sayif has become renowned as one of the top minds in the world in mixed martial arts. Athletes travel from all over the world to train with him. He has 85 UFC wins as a head coach, an incredible number. He continues to push his team into the history books of mixed martial arts and still coaches full time at Fortis MMA.
Deron Michael Williams is an American professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Illinois before being drafted third overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz. The three-time NBA All-Star has also played for Beşiktaş of the Turkish Basketball League, and was a gold medal winner on the United States national team at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Deron wrestled competitively and won two state titles at 8 and 12 years old. His love for grappling and training has remained as he trains regularly and is an avid MMA fan.
Uriah A Hall a professional mixed martial artist and former kickboxer. He currently fights in the Middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he is s top ten middleweight. He was the runner up on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen. Prior to his appearance on TUF, Hall competed in Bellator MMA and Ring of Combat, where he saw success in winning the ROC Championship. He is also the first UFC fighter in history to win a fight without throwing a single strike. He is #9 in the UFC middleweight rankings. Uriah has been at Fortis for a few years amassing a four fight win streak and competing in two main events in the UFC. One of those was a win over the all time great Anderson Silva.
Uriah A. Hall
Steven Peterson is a former Legacy/LFA world champion who currently fights for the UFC. With 14 years of fighting experience and 10 years of coaching experience he brings a wealth of knowledge to his classes. Steven continues his UFC career as well as coaching our amateur program at Fortis MMA. He has been instrumental in building the Fortis amateur team to one of the best in Texas.
Macy Chiasson is an American mixed martial artist. She was the very first Women's Featherweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 28 and currently competes in the Bantamweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She is #10 in the UFC women's bantamweight rankings. She has a 5-1 record in the UFC. She teaches kickboxing with a unique style that anyone ranging from a beginner to seasoned martial artist can learn from. She is also well versed in self-defense training for women.
Ramiz Brahimaj is a Ibjjf no gi world champion. He is know for his world class grappling and no-gi prowess. He is also the current Texas state no-gi champion. He has been professional mma fighter for 7 years and currently competes in the UFC welterweight division. Ramiz specializes in no-gi and submission wrestling/grappling. He teaches both regularly every week at Fortis MMA.
Zach is a first degree Black belt under John Lewis team Novaa Uniao. He has been training since 2008 while attending college at Tufts university in Boston. He would continue on to have an outstanding career in fine arts and management.
Zach would go on to receive his black belt in 2017. Zach has a plethora of competitive experience as well as teaching the very basics. He has the ability to break things down for athletes of all levels. Zach’s instructional diversity has been something his students cherish. He regularly teaches several times a week at Fortis.
Josh Bagalay stared wrestling at an early age and continued to at Central Michigan University. After wrestling, his father introduced him to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He trained near his hometown in Michigan up to Purple Belt. In 2011, he moved to Los Angeles, CA to train full time with multiple time World Champion, Rubens "Cobrinha" Charles. Eventually, Josh moved back to Michigan and earned his Black Belt from Master Caique Elias in 2014. Over the years, Josh has dedicated himself to learning the intricacies of Jiu Jitsu to be successful in competition. A constant learner who is always striving to understand, not just the "how" a technique is applied, but the many "why's" around it. And now, devoting more energy than ever before to help others reach a higher level of understanding in the art of Jiu Jitsu.
As a former professional mma fighter & certified functional strength trainer, Coach Darius had 12 years of experience. His diverse skill set and unmatched energy has made him one of the most sought out trainers in DFW. Darius has clients ranging from 20 years of age well into their 60’s. He also instructs kickboxing several times a week at the gym. Infusing his own experience as a pro athlete and his many years of resistance work for dynamic results.
Damon Jackson started wrestling at a young age and earned state runner up in high school 2007 and finished his wrestling career at Missouri Valley College. He received All American stats in 2012, taking 5th at the NAIA National Tournament. He fought amateur MMA through college and turned pro shortly after graduation. While in college he received his ISSA Personal Training certificate and has been a trainer for the past 6 years. A certified USA Wrestling Bronze level coach, he was the head coach at Ozark Missouri taking 12 wrestlers to state. Damon is one of Fortis MMA’s top professional MMA fighters. He is undefeated, and has finished all of his fights by either submission or knockout. Damon currently teaches the Wrestling and Core Fitness classes at Fortis MMA, as well as some of the Kickboxing/Muay Thai.
I started my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu career with Bruno Bastos after my wife surprised me with a 3 month trial membership to a gym in Dallas shortly after we moved to Dallas. I am currently a Black Belt under Marcus Antelante - team Soul Fighters. I have competed and trained all over the world, but most thrilled about competing and training with my BJJ idol and legend "Terere" in Rio de Janeiro. Jiu-Jitsu has helped me maintain my physical health, keep me in a positive mental state, and meet lifelong friends. As an instructor, I want to spread the art of Jiu-Jitsu to as many people as I can. It is everyone from all walks of life, to men and women, children and toddlers, and retirees. My goal is to help you exceed your goals through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to increase confidence, overall health and fitness, self defense, or become the next world champion