Brazilian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Leonardo Barbosa Paes Barreto has claimed that he threw his fight against Afghan fighter Ahmad Wali Hotak on February 11, after being threatened by a gunman in Kabul, the MMA Fighting reported.
The match was held on February 11 at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul.
Hotak managed to knock out Barbosa in the second round of the fight.
But later, Barbosa said on Facebook that he was approached by an armed man in the locker room and threatened.
The MMA Fighting reported that the Facebook post has been set as private after Barbosa received several messages from “aggressive” Afghan people calling him a “liar.”
Barbosa told MMA Fighting that a man entered his locker room that evening and “started screaming things” in his native language.
Barbosa couldn’t understand a word he was saying. He did understand the message, however, when this man allegedly showed him he was carrying a gun.
The Brazilian said he later spotted the man “in the VIP area during the fight, real close to the cage.”
“He kept screaming, extremely aggressive. He got closer to the cage in between rounds and started saying something similar to what he had said in the locker room, only more aggressive. I was winning the fight, I won the first round well, my opponent had a broken nose and needed surgery the next day, and I think I would have won, but I felt unable to do anything in that fight,” Barbosa said.
“And then that happened. I threw the fight,” he admits.
“I came back different for the second round, a series of things were going through my mind. I have a son, I have a family. Him killing me wasn’t my biggest fear because the repercussion would be huge, but I don’t know, people there are a bit complicated. It’s complicated, really. That region is still at war, there are terrorist attacks going on and people are kind of used to that now. A car exploded while I was there and they simply isolated the street, the army put a detour to another street and that’s it,” he stated.
Barbosa stated in a video message that Wali Hotak should not be blamed for what happened in the locker room.
“My opponent Hotak was not to blame for what happened, that fan was crazy,” Barbosa said.
He added: “I know the Afghan people do not agree on this type of attitude and that we will do the rematch and we are going to give the show that the TGFC event deserves and the public deserves,” he noted.
“I wait for the date of rematch,” Barbosa stated.
Hotak, however, denied Barbosa’s claims, calling it a “rumor.” He stated that he won the fight.
The TGFC officials also denied the report. However, they stated the rematch would be held in Dubai.