Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

Ahmed Al Darmaki kicked out of UAE Warriors after pushing referee

Organisation act after 'unacceptable behaviour' of featherweight

Emirati fighter Ahmed Al Darmaki in a previous fight. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
Emirati fighter Ahmed Al Darmaki in a previous fight. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

Ahmed Al Darmaki, the Emirati mixed martial arts fighter who was involved in an ugly altercation with referee Marc Goddard, has been expelled from the UAE Warriors.

During his appearance at the UAE Warriors 12 featherweight undercard at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena last month, Al Darmaki had Uzbek Bogdan Kirilenko in a first round submission hold.

Al Darmaki apparently had won the fight after his opponent tapped out, but he refused to let go of his rear naked choke.

Goddard had to step in to break Al Darmaki’s hold but the Emirati turned against him. The fighter grabbed the British referee by his collar and pushed him repeatedly.

Goddard subsequently disqualified Al Darmaki in what could have been his third career win, and awarded the fight to Kirilenko.

Al Darmaki’s deplorable act was roundly condemned by the combat sports world on social media.

Fouad Darwish, general manager of Palms Sports who oversees the UAE Warriors, said his organisation’s association with the fighter was terminated following a committee meeting.

“The UAE Warriors stands committed to the nation and its people, and will continue to take strong action against any violation of the organisation’s code of conduct,” he said.

“The UAE Warriors regrets the actions of one fighter and acknowledges the highest level of professionalism displayed by the referee Marc Goddard.

“The unsportsmanlike conduct of the fighter was in no means reflective of the values held by UAE Warriors nor of the highly professional mixed martial arts specialist on the card, and was counter to the spirit of the UAE, its community and people.

“Following the UAE Warriors 12, the organisation remains resolutely committed against unacceptable behaviour by any of its team or fighters. We have zero tolerance to such behaviour.”

Al Darmaki, 31, is only the third Emirati to pursue a career as a professional MMA fighter. He holds a 2-6 win/loss record since his professional debut in the Desert Force 7 in Jordan on March 2013.

Yousef Al Housani now remains the sole Emirati flag bearer in the UAE Warriors. He is undefeated in five amateur and two professional appearances in the last two Warriors editions.

Al Housani scored a first round submission on Egyptian Mohamed Allam in his Warriors debut in June.

He recorded another first round success by TKO over Indian Mohamed Fargan, a last moment replacement for Sri Lankan Mohamed Arshaq Ali, in the organisation’s last competition on July 31.

Updated: August 12, 2020 01:34 PM

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