Ahmad Wali Hotak, Afghanistan’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, lost to Russian rival Denis Kanakov on Saturday night in Tajikistan.
This was Hotak’s first defeat in an international contest. The Afghan fighter was knocked out by Kanakov in the final minute of the third round.
Taking to social media after the event, Hotak said: “I have not been broken. I regret that I couldn’t bring you happiness and championship as before! Don’t be disappointed about my loss.”
The fight, organized by Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB), was held in Dushanbe.
Other well-known MMA fighter Baz Mohammad Mubariz said on Facebook that he was not happy about Hotak’s loss and said he would send a letter to ACB and request a revenge match where he, Mubariz, can take on Kanakov.
To Hotak, he said people either win or lose, and said he had respect for his fellow Afghan fighter.
“With your prayers, I will beat Kanakov and I want to raise Afghanistan’s flag in victory in order to bring a smile to all the faces of Afghans.”
Mubariz was the first Afghan to be accepted as an ACB fighter – in 2015.