Sajad Gharibi, or the ‘Iranian Hulk’, is making his debut in the MMA cage this year. The Hulk confirmed via Instagram that he will compete against a Brazilian fighter before 2020.
Gharibi, 180 kilograms dry on the hook, announced in 2016 that he wanted to join the Iranian army in the fight against the Islamic State, but in the meantime, he has taken a different path. He is about to explore the rugged world of cage fighters. Gharibi is seen as an icon in its own country.
The internet phenomenon has almost half a million followers on Instagram, where he regularly shows his impressive figure. With his 1m88 the Iranian is not the greatest, but that his appearance often compares him to ‘The Hulk’, the green Marvel giant, is completely understandable. Gharibi himself, however, prefers the ‘Persian Hercules’. So, no shortage of nicknames.
It is no surprise that Gharibi is a former bodybuilder. Nor does he spend his days mainly in the powerhouse. The Colossus also carries a past in wrestling. And despite its frightening appearance, the muscle bundle is described by its environment as a “friendly giant with a big heart.” Behind Gharibi’s impressive body is a gentle person who regularly visits children’s hospitals in his home country.
In 2016 Gharibi announced that he wanted to join the Iranian army in the fight against the terrorist group of Islamic State, which he wanted to ruin. “First of all, I want to say that I am a representative of my country. All the selfless people who give their lives for our country are my heroes. We must thank them for peace in Iran,” he said in a video message at the time.
This year the debut in the MMA will follow. Initially, it was planned that Gharibi would take on Martyn Ford, better known as “Thanos” – the villain in the Avengers movie and also called the “Scariest Man on Earth.” Eventually, the camp did not come, but the ‘Iranian Hulk’ will soon get into the cage – albeit against an unnamed Brazilian. “I finally accept the challenge to venture into my first professional MMA camp,” Gharibi writes on Instagram. “Before 2020 I will compete against a Brazilian fighter. More information about the camp will follow, but I am ready for the challenge.”
MMA legend Brian Ortega was not impressed by the Iranian giant in a conversation with TMZ. “If he dared to take on me, I would wipe the floor with him,” said Ortega. “I would exhaust and irritate him and strike at the right moment. He is big, weighs a lot, but his technique will still need some work.”