Israeli fighter Oron Kahlon countered his opponent’s taunts by calling him a “terrorist,” which the Afghan opined was a below-the-belt insult.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Two fighters with hopes of making it into the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) clashed during their pre-match weigh in on Tuesday, bringing the Middle East conflict to a Las Vegas sporting event.
Oron Kahlon, a native of Ashdod, Israel, started off on the wrong foot when meeting his opponent for a “Contenders” fight — a special one-time match up in which the victor is given the opportunity to start a professional career in the UFC.
Kahlon, who at 36 is ten years older than his opponent, and far past the age in which it is likely he would be offered a UFC contract, weighed in at 138 pounds, rather than the 135 pound cut-off for the fight.
For his failure to make the correct weight, he was fined 20 percent of his purse.
The opposing fighter, Afghan-born Javid Basharat, then refused to shake the Israeli’s hand — a move that fighters sometimes make in order to escalate the drama in the weigh-off, which takes place in front of the media.
Superstar fighters like Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov have refused to shake hands with opponents before a match, in order to play up tensions.
Basharat then exchanged words with Kahlon. Trash talking between fighters commonly occurs in face-offs before UFC matches.
However, Kahlon countered one of Basharat’s taunts by calling him a “terrorist,” which the Afghan opined was a below-the-belt insult.
“This [expletive] wanted a way out [of the fight] by missing weight by three pounds,” Basharat, who hails from the U.K., wrote on Instagram.
“I told him I’m gonna still whoop his [expletive], he then called me a terrorist. [He] wanted a reaction again he wanted a way out. Unlucky for him I ain’t going nowhere! I’m waiting to see him tomorrow.”
The two men are set to face off in the UFC’s Octagon on Wednesday.