Israeli MMA fighter calls Afghan opponent 'terrorist', loses by tapout

Israeli MMA fighter calls Afghan opponent 'terrorist', loses by tapout
2 min read
28 October, 2021
An Afghan MMA fighter defeated an Israeli opponent who labelled him a 'terrorist' during their faceoff, while also winning a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Basharat (top) submitted Kahlon in the third round of the fight [Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC]

An Israeli mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who called his Afghan opponent a "terrorist" during their pre-fight faceoff lost the bout in the third round after being submitted.

The issue started a day before the fight on Monday during weigh-ins, when Israeli Oron Kahlon missed his weight by three pounds (1.3 kg). After the traditional faceoff with Afghan Javid Basharat, who refused to shake Kahlon’s hand, the Israeli UFC fighter could be heard calling Basharat a "terrorist."

Basharat responded to the slur in an Instagram post, saying: "This p*ssy (Kahlon) wanted a way out by missing weight by 3 pounds."

When he told Kahlon that he would beat him in the match, the Israeli called him a "terrorist."

Basharat said his opponent wanted a reaction from him and a way out of the fight.

After going head to head the following day, the Afghan MMA fighter submitted his opponent in the third round.

The Dana White Contender Series (DWCS) victory secured Basharat a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is considered the sport's top stage.

UFC President Dana White was later asked by reporters whether Kahlon's remarks had gone too far, however the businessman said that no action would be taken against him.

"Are we going to do anything? It got done tonight," White said, referring to Kahlon's defeat.

White further defended his stance by saying: "in this insanely politically correct world we’re living in, this (the UFC) is one place that is not."

The UFC chief has been criticised in the past for his lenience on fighters' pre-fight antics. During the 2018 buildup to Khabib Nurmagomedov's clash with Conor McGregor, the Irish fighter was accused of insulting Nurmagomedov's Muslim faith. McGregor offered Nurmagomedov whiskey at a press conference, mockingly repeating a traditional Islamic greeting and insulting the Russian fighter's family members. No action was taken by the UFC over the remarks.

After this week's events, some fans questioned whether a similar attitude would have been taken if Basharat had made similar insults targeting Kahlon's background.

“I give him respect as a sportsman, but as a human, what trash behaviour,” Basharat said after the fight. “When you’re that unapologetic, you deserve a fist in your mouth.”