UPDATE: Firas Zahabi gave us the following statement on the incident. “One kick could be accidental but I don’t know how you can explain 5 attempted up kicks in a row with 3 landing viciously with one while your opponent is protesting. I don’t know how anyone can say this was accidental.”
TKO bantamweight Xavier Alaoui went into Saturday’s fight with Mateo Alejandro Vogel with a double disadvantage. First, he took the fight on only ten days notice. Second, he was fighting in Vogel’s backyard of Gatineau, Quebec. Nonetheless, the Tristar product came out fighting and dropped Vogel early in the first round. Alaoui later took Vogel down and was hurting him with elbows from the top. From this position, Vogel threw several upkicks, at least three of which hit Alaoui, who was on his knees, square in the head. Alaoui went down but not out.
“I remember it all, I was whooping his ass,” Alaoui told MMATorch backstage minutes after the conclusion of the fight. “Then I think he wanted a way out, so he upkicked me.”
Alaoui was down and flat on his back for several minutes while he was attended to by the cageside doctor. He was conscious but not moving much. The fight was called off and Alaoui was declared the winner by disqualification. Despite getting the win by DQ, Alaoui is happy to have the ‘W’ on his record and has no shame in how it happened.
“I think it’s better that way, on ten days notice I wasn’t going to push it,” he said. “Why am I going to be a tough guy and continue the fight? You see the welt I have on my forehead from the upkick? That’s the only thing he touched me with. Look at his face, I (expletive) this guy up for the full four minutes. He looked ugly as (expletive). I probably broke something in his face with the elbows.
“In all honesty, it wasn’t worth it to keep going, especially with the short notice.”
While the decision was being read, Alaoui’s coach, Firas Zahabi, appeared upset, to say the least, and was trying to get at Vogel, only to be held back by an official inside the cage.
“Firas was upset,” Alaoui said. “He’s never seen that in his whole career, in 20 years. You don’t even do that to the guys you don’t like in the gym.”
MMATorch requested an interview with Vogel following the fight, but he declined. While the DQ finish was the right call, one has to wonder if Alaoui would want a rematch with Vogel so that he can get a more decisive win.
“Hell no. He’s not at my level.”