An amateur event in Manila on Sunday produced a bizarre moment. Two fighters appear to have communicated in advance and decided exactly what the outcome of their bout should be.
Unfortunately they made a total mess of it with the knock out ‘blow’ not even landing and the referee immediately recognizing what had happened:
The fighter who had supposedly just been knocked out faced the indignity of being told to get up by experienced referee Jerry Legaspi who wasn’t having any of it. The promotion, which is called King of the Fight, was quick to condemn the fighters involved:
“This match was embarrassing not just to the athletes that trained hard for their fights and the organization who organized the event, but to the sport of MMA in general,” it stated.
Muay Thai fighters in Thailand will occasionally be bribed or threatened to lose a match but that is due to the pervasive influence of gambling on the sport. Elsewhere incidents like this are extremely rare which is what makes this one so blatant.
One fighter attempts to throw a spinning back fist, or spinning back elbow. It isn’t clear exactly what he is trying to do because he misses by so far.
Instead of connecting with his opponent’s chin, which was presumably the intended target, the strike appears to glance off the armpit area. But the opponent collapses dramatically and remains on the ground as if unconscious until the referee tells him to get up.
Among those voicing their disapproval was Filipino legend Eduard Folayang:
He congratulated Jerry Legaspi on doing a ‘good job’. It is unclear what the fighters were hoping to get out of this stunt as the amateur fights don’t appear to be getting added to anyone’s record.
Instead of being able to claim a highlight reel KO the guy in the grey shorts will go down in infamy as the man who tried to fix an amateur MMA fight. Failing to to do in such a public fashion has got to be embarrassing.
And the guy in the red shorts will be remembered as the man who agreed to fix an amateur MMA fight. Was he paid to do it, or was he just doing a big favour for a friend?
We might never know the answer to these questions but this bout certainly won’t be winning any ‘fight of the year’ awards.