The most anticipated fight in the history of MMA in France has turned into ridicule. Last Thursday in front of a packed Accor Arena, the referee stopped the clash between Cédric Doumbè and Baysangur Chamsoudinov, known as Baki, because of the former’s repeated complaints about a thorn in his left toe. Baki was declared the winner by technical knockout. Spectators were left speechless by this insane scene which deprived them of the great spectacle promised by several weeks of promotion and verbal jousting on social networks.

Proof of the impressive growth of the discipline in France in recent weeks, Baki was the guest of the Quotidien show on TMC this Monday evening. The French fighter of Chechen origin, 22, returned to the surreal events of Thursday evening. “The first time, Cédric complained to the referee, who told him to continue fighting. I don’t understand. Then he told me. He tells me he has something on his foot that he can’t fight. I tell him “take off what you have on your foot and let’s continue”. I’m focused on the fight and I don’t see what’s wrong with him. Besides, what he had was very little,” he says.

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If he had found himself in the same situation, would Baki have continued the fight? “Neither the referee, nor the public, nor anyone would have known that I had this thing on my foot,” he says. There are a lot of things that hurt in a fight. We are fighters. We are excellent liars: we don’t show pain.”

One thing is certain, the tens of thousands of spectators and viewers were left wanting more after this charade. Still, Baki says he is “happy because there were still two rounds. I clearly take one, the second was disputed and I think I took it. I’m happy but it spoils the victory. It was a shame, I wanted to finish the fight well. It was expected, it was a great rivalry.”

Will there be a rematch? Both men want it. “There is nothing official. If the PFL (Professional Fighters League, the league in which the two fighters play, editor’s note) can validate the tickets, why not!” The Baki clan, however, has some financial requirements. “If there is a re-match, the PFL would have to issue a big, big, big check, but a big check guys (…). Minimum 500,000 euros. A million would be the best” declared Nabil Takali, physical trainer of the young fighter, on YouTube. For his part, Cédric Doumbè will file a protest to transform his defeat into a “No contest” and replay the match. To be continued.