There are people questioning the veracity of certain events surrounding UFC 189 and the announcement that Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber will be the coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter 22. The first instance under scrutiny is whether or not the fight between Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor was fixed, and the second is whether the altercation between Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber—fortuitously captured by the cameras before the fight—was just a pre-determined scene in preparation for the announcement that these two would be coaching opposite one another. There will always be naysayers, critics and extremists, and we don’t want to get into the discussion too much, much less question the performance that each fighter delivered in one of the best fight nights of MMA’s recent years. If we’re going to talk about fixed fights and creating a scene, however, we can’t not talk about the great Jorge Kahwagi.
Over several years, Jorge Kahwagi has made a name for himself in his native Mexico as a controversial figure with a bizarre, double relationship between showbiz and Mexican politics, entrepreneurship, and as far as we’re more concerned, combat sports. But boxing is only one of his many hobbies. He is a double-major university graduate and is the Vice President of a national newspaper called La Crónica de Hoy, which is owned by his father. Kahwagi then made a sketchy way into politics, becoming a congressman for the Partido Verde Ecologista de México, which is a political party that has been involved in its own controversy, most notably a 2004 video scandal in which its party leader, Jorge Emilio González Martínez, received a $2 Million dollar bribe. He then requested a temporary leave of his political duties to become part of the Big Brother reality show, spending six weeks out of the office, although it was leaked that he still received his salary.
Adding to his quirks, Kahwagi decided to go into professional boxing in 2001 after claiming an unproved 43-bout amateur career. Somehow, Kahwagi has remained undefeated with 12 knockouts or technical knockouts, two CMB belts, one from OMB and one national belt in Mexico. At 47 years old, Kahwagi returned to his old tricks in the boxing ring, and showed up this past weekend versus Sonora’s Ramon Olivas in an event organized in the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines.
It seemed as though the public was unaware of whom the fighters were when the opening bell rang, but through what appeared to be a pair of pectoral implants the audience was soon introduced to Kahwagi and his stiff and strange gait that took him to the first exchange against his opponent, generating little more than just laughter among the fans. Kahwagi launched a couple of jabs, and Olivas sent a series of strikes to Kahwagi’s arms. Soon the laughter became murmurs when Kahwagi put Olivas on the mat with a left hook, just seconds into the fight.
The voices in the public get louder and the announcer remarks: “Nacho Beristain said Kahwagi is a fraud […] he throws punches in slow motion.” At that moment, a pair of fists appear to break through Oliva’s defense as more laughter arises in the stands. All of a sudden it seems as though Olivas lost his balance and the referee immediately intervened.
“Let it be clear,” the announcer said, “this fight means nothing.” He explains that the costs of the fight were covered by a Mexican promotion that requested the fight, and that certainly the fight would help Kahwagi’s political career.
We don’t think it’s going to be a great aid to his career—be that his political, athletic, showbiz or even entrepreneurial careers. They say there’s no bad press. But alas, we can call a lot of things bad, like a fight or a show, but it seems like there was no fight here, only spectacle and of course, master Kahwagi doing his thing.
This story was originally published in Spanish on Fightland Mexico.
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