Leonardo Barbosa has admitted to throwing a fight in Afghanistan this February because he was threatened by a gunman before the fight according to a report from MMAFighting.
Barbosa admits he threw his fight against Ahmed Wali Hotak in the main event of TGFC 11 as the fighter went down theatrically in the second round after a knee to the stomach.
The referee immediately stepped in to stop the fight and fans were ecstatic.
He broke the news of the throw on social media after the fight but received serious backlash from local Afghan people calling him a ‘liar’ saying he didn’t throw on purpose and he lost fair and square.
TGFC 11 main event:
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 11, 2021
Barbosa stated to MMAFighting that fans entered the locker room whenever they wanted and a local man came in shouting in a language he didn’t understand while holding a gun, to Leonardo the message was clear.
He then saw the same man “in the VIP area during the fight, real close to the cage.”.
“He kept screaming, extremely aggressive,” he told MMAFighting. “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 was alone for the fight as his manager tested positive for COVID and he had a stranger from Iran in his corner.
“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 is 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.”
Leonardo had nothing bad to say about his opposition Ahmed Wali Hotak or the promotion, just the man who was threatening him.
He has been offered a rematch in May by the TGFC in Dubai but he hasn’t accepting yet.