Brazilian featherweight Leonardo Barbosa said he “dived” in a mixed martial arts match in Afghanistan earlier this month after being pressurized by an unknown shooter in the locker room prior to the match.
Barbosa admitted to faking a knee injury to his body in the fight against Ahmed Wali Hotak in Kabul on February 11, which resulted in the referee calling the fight in favor of the hometown fighter – but he claims that the Hit of the fight was unsuccessful Don’t get into the cage but minutes before he even went into the arena.
The Brazilian fighter said on social media that he was threatened by an armed man backstage before the fight. The position, which has since been set to “private”, has been pushed back extremely by Afghan MMA personalities, many of whom claim Barbosa lied.
The end of the fight, however, seems to give Barbosa’s claims some credibility. A clip showing the climax of the fight went online last week and shows Barbosa theatrically responding to a knee blow on the body while local fans burst into cheers and applause.
The last few seconds of the fight are all the more unusual as Barbosa was in control of the fight up to this point and had broken his opponent’s nose in the first round.
However, in the second frame he became worried when he saw the same shooter threatening him in the VIP area of the arena near the cage.
“He kept screaming, being extremely aggressive,” Barbosa said of MMA Fighting. “He got closer to the cage between rounds and said something similar to what he said in the locker room, only more aggressively. I won the fight, I won the first round well, my opponent had a broken nose and needed surgery the next day, and me think I would have won, but I felt unable to do anything in this fight.
It’s a strange reaction. A body shot does not cause a person to throw their head back like that. They fold inwards.
– Steven Carl Scott (@StevenCarlScott) February 12, 2021
This reaction of the knee to the body seemed like something out of professional wrestling.
– Eddie Gribbin (@EddieGribbin) February 11, 2021
“And then that happened. I threw the fight,” he said. “I came back differently for the second round, a number of things went through my head.
“I have a son, I have a family. Killing him wasn’t my biggest fear, because the effects would be huge, but I don’t know, the people there are a bit complicated. It’s really complicated. It’s still in this region There are terrorist attacks at war and people are used to it. A car exploded while I was there and they just isolated the street, the army made a detour to another street and that’s it. “
Barbosa went on to describe his discomfort with the environment in which he competed – particularly after being forced to travel to the fight alone after his manager tested positive for Covid-19 in the days leading up to the fight. He says his passport was confiscated and didn’t come back to him until he checked in for his flight home.
“I had no documents in an unknown country,” he said. “I never thought I would go through a situation like this and I hope I will never go through it again. My biggest fear was that something would happen and get caught there. I would do something to fight back and save my life defend right?
“I don’t know their laws. The first thing that crossed my mind was the fear of not being able to leave this place, of being arrested for any reason, or of going to a hospital without my documents, just the immigration papers.”
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He also confirmed that he has been offered a rematch with Wali Hotak by officials for an upcoming combat card in Dubai and that this time he will be prepared – and with a full team with him for his safety.
“I would go with a different structure this time, with my corner men and everything else,” said Barbosa. “I will never travel without my corner men again.
“This rematch will be different. I think I can win this fight with ease, to tell the truth.”