In combat sports such as MMA and boxing, there are always allegations of fighters taking a dive to purposely lose their bout.
Normally whenever fighters do take a dive it is normally to do with issues such as they just don't want to be in there fighting or they have been offered a substantial amount of money to lose on purpose.
However, this was not the case in the main event of TGFC 11 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The main event at TGFC 11 was Ahmed Wali against Leonardo Barbosa. During the finishing sequence of the bout, Barbosa took a fairly tame knee to the body and reacted and fell to the ground in an extremely dramatic fashion. It has now been revealed that Barbosa took a dive in the fight.
Take a look at the finish below.
As you can see in the video above, Barbosa takes a fairly weak knee to the body but goes down very theatrically. The reason behind why Barbosa took the dive has been revealed.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Barbosa revealed all the details around what went down. According to Barbosa, before the fight, a man entered his locker room and "started screaming things" in his native language which was presumably Pashto or Dari. Barbosa said that he did not understand a word of what the man was saying but he fully understood the message which the man was trying to send to him. Barbosa soon understood when the man showed him that he was carrying a gun. Barbosa also revealed that when he was out for the fight and actually inside the cage, he spotted the man and he was “in the VIP area during the fight, real close to the cage.”
"He kept screaming, extremely aggressive,” he said. “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 then went on to detail the reasons and the thought process around him throwing the fight. The Brazilian said "And then that happened. I threw the fight, 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.”
The CEO of TGFC has now revealed that Barbosa never told him about the gunman. Abdul Wasi Sharifi said "Leonardo never told me about [the gunman] when we reached to [the] hotel and before the arena. Never talked to me so today I heard this story and we agree to rematch the event soon in Dubai. He said that there was no fault of his opponent, hotel and promotion.”
The whole situation regarding the main event bout and the events which happened behind the scenes is a huge mess but thankfully Barbosa managed to get out of Afghanistan safe and sound.
Barbosa is now motivated to come back and have a rematch with the same opponent.
"This rematch will be different,” Barbosa said. “I believe I can win this fight with ease, to tell you the truth.”