The first ever Phoenix Championship weigh in festivities went down earlier this month [Friday December 09, 2016] in Beirut, and no, they did not proceed without incident. Most notably, Bachir Yammine came in heavy on his first attempt, tipping the scales at 2.5Kg above limit for his welterweight fight against Joeshwa Mortada. On the other hand, Mortada also came in at 1.5Kg above weight. Usually, a fighter in this position would grit his teeth and go back to the sauna for an hour. But that did not happen for Yammine who did not even attempt to make weight. On the contrary, Mortada went to hit the sauna, dropping to 70.5Kg.
Obviously, Mortada was not pleased at all with Yammine’s unprofessional conduct, and that day, he has expressed his discontent with what happened in an interview with ArabsMMA.
Since then, a lot of claims, talks, and accusations have been circulating around the MMA community. ArabsMMA reached out to Phoenix matchmaker Louai Kiblawi who detailed what exactly happened on that day.
“The truth is both missed their weights! Joeshwa made it to 70.5Kg, but Bachir didn’t before 12pm!”
Usually if a fighter misses weight, he or she will get a second try as always. If the weight is still off, he is fined 20% of the “show” money (which is given to the opponent) and they make some sort of arrangement on what weight they will actually fight at.
“The commission told Bachir that if he didn’t make weight before 12, they will cut 20% of his purse. He agreed and left, and I came to know he didn’t even try to cut the extra pounds.
After Joeshwa made it to 70.5Kg, he asked for 50% of Bachir’s purse because he claimed that Bachir didn’t even attempt to make 70.5Kg.
The commission said it’s Mortada’s right to ask for more since Bashir didn’t push himself. He cannot just miss weight and leave.
As a matchmaker I called Bachir told him Joeshwa asked for 50% of your purs,e would you take the fight? Bachir’s answer’s was a sure no.
Then I spoke to Josh told him Bashir rejected! Since he didn’t make weight, either you accept his 20% and fight or I’ll get you a replacement! He said I need sometime to think. Meanwhile, I got him a Lebanese guy with a 1-0 record, called Joeshwa and told him again I got you one either you fight him at 70 kgs, or take Bachir’s at 20%, or pull out from both.
He took again one hour and called me back saying that he doesn’t want to fight a new guy neither take Bachir’s 20%.
He preferred not to fight on that night. As a matchmaker I had to cancel the fight. I think they both got their opportunities and they missed.”