Reug Reug appears to be very popular in Senegal. The ONE Championship heavyweight shared a video of him getting a hero’s welcome from the fans in his homeland.

Just about everything Reug Reug, whose real name is Oumar Kane, posts on social media these days contains a dig at reigning ONE Championship heavyweight title holder Anatoly Malykhin.

This post is no exception.

“Someone tell that fake champ over theft this is what it looks like to be a real people’s champ.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Reug Reug (@reugreug)

Hero and role model

Reug Reug was living and training in Dubai. He returned to his homeland this week and put on a display of what appears to be traditional Senegalese dancing.

The footage appears to have been filmed in Thiaroye sur Mer which is the town where Reug Reug was raised, and began his wrestling career. It is a village that has high unemployment and many young people end up making the dangerous journey to Europe in search of better opportunities.

In 2019 it was reported that nearly one tenth of the Thiaroye sur Mer population had died at sea after trying to enter Europe as illegal migrants. The fishing industry which the village was dependent on is no longer lucrative enough to provide economic opportunities for young people.

It sounds like a place in need of a local hero and role model. Reug Reug appears to be the man filling that role and he clearly has a big fan following in his hometown.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Reug Reug (@reugreug)

Title shot

Reug Reug’s path to a shot at reigning heavyweight champion Anatoly Malykhin became clearer after Amir Alkaibari was matched with Arjan Bhullar. The two men will face off at ONE 166 in Qatar, meaning that the Iranian has to wait a little longer for a crack at the title.

That leaves Reug Reug, who has won his last three ONE Championship fights, as the #1 contender. Ben Tynan could also be in the mix but the Senegalese star will be hoping his next fight is with Malyhkin.

ONE 166 is going to have five title fights. Only one of them has been announced so far and Reug Reug will be waiting nervously to see whether he gets the call to face Malykhin in Qatar.