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Over the weekend, history was made at Dubai’s iconic Coca-Cola Arena as Social Knockout – the world’s first cryptocurrency event provided an unforgettable event for thousands of fans, including boxing fans, followers of social media influencers and the royal family.
Also in attendance were popular local and international celebrities such as UFC Heavyweight, Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, and boxing icons, Badou Jack and Prince Naseem Hamed. The event was made possible by the main sponsor and partner KokoSwap, the official cryptocurrency used to purchase the event tickets, livestream access and other giveaways and NFTs.
Six exhibition boxing matches and music concerts featuring some of the world’s most well-known influencers, singers and local fighters were part of the high-profile event. Aside from the huge crowd that attended in person, many more tuned in via live broadcasts from around the world, making the hybrid physical and digital event truly unique.
In the evening’s main event, Rashed “Money Kicks” Belhasa, the UAE native, took a tight unanimous victory over his Jordanian co-opponent, YouTube superstar Anas Al Shayib. Anas led the opening round, eliciting Money Kicks and swinging aggressively with an ambitious technique that would eventually unravel. Although Alshayib was quick on his feet, his cardio was no match for the relentless footwork of Belhasa, who skillfully took advantage of the fight in the closing rounds, tearing him apart with agility and powerful punches.
“It was a close fight, but I think I successfully blocked everything he did [Anas] threw at me. I took the win with more significant strikes and counters. I was never hurt there and I felt that I was moving more and controlling the ring throughout the fight,” says Belhasa confidently.
In the co-main event, no love was lost between YouTube sensation Adam Saleh and Tiktoker, Walid Shark; the brother of popular Arab influencer Noor Star, who was also there to cheer on her sibling. Both influencers are no strangers to the ring, with Adam having more than 10 amateur boxing matches to his name in addition to his successful social media career, and Walid Shark, a veteran boxer with more than 4 amateur victories to his name. The fight sent an electric shock through the Coca-Cola Arena, with both fighters having moments of dominance in the ring and deafening cheers and chants from the crowd. By the end of the third round, the judges had closed the fight by a majority vote.
While the beef may not have been handled by these two rivals in the ring, both Adam and Walid showed each other respect after the fight and agreed that a rematch should take place as soon as possible.
Other notable fights to mention in last night’s most iconic event in Dubai included popular American Youtuber, Slim “The Hitman,” AlBahar and Mido “King Anibus.” Known for his funny YouTube antics, Slim showed Dubai and the world that he is more than just a prankster by dethroning the king with a first-round knockout in under 3 minutes.
Tam Khan, the pioneer of MMA in the UAE, and the brainchild behind TK Fight Night, which brought the Social Knockout to life, is convinced that this is the future of entertainment, and that this is just the beginning for his new brand, “we’ve already had a lot of offers from other markets like KSA, UK and America. My phone has been exploding non-stop since last night’s event with so many potential offers and exciting new ideas to launch”.
Tam continues to show appreciation for his city saying, “I think what we did last night was not only historic with the world’s first crypto event, but we also showed the world that Dubai and the UAE don’t need permission for world-class events.This country has always been so wonderful to me and my family, and it has been my mission to make this city the hub for martial arts and entertainment in the region since I first landed here in 2008 .”
The evening program was not only filled with thrilling fights and star-studded social media stars. Popular American Rapper, A-Boogie-Wit Da Hoodie and Indian singing sensation Guru Randhawa both got the crowd going with memorable live performances in between matches. Fans were treated to an atmosphere never experienced in this region until last night.
Tam Khan concluded the evening proudly by saying: “This is just the beginning. I am very pleased with the positive feedback and international interest we are getting from this event. I’m going to enjoy the weekend and next Sunday we’ll get back to work building this brand into something bigger and better.”
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