The Iraqi Fight Club
The origin of boxing as a sport, may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks as an Olympic game. But earlier boxing records are depicted in Sumerian carvings in Iraq, while an ancient Egyptian relief depicts two fist-fighters and spectators. Other examples can also be found in Assyrian and Babylonian art.
According to Olympic boxing coach Hussein Ali, boxing is the second most popular sport after football in Iraq and because of the current situation, only had one fighter representing Iraq at Rio 2016 but hopes to have five or six fully trained by the next Olympics. Over the years, combat sport has evolved in Iraq and now incorporates other disciplines, including the massively popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Muay Thai.
Although not represented in the Iraqi Fight Club, wrestling still remains popular and in 2014, the Iraqi team netted the Cup of the Western Asia Free style Wrestling Championship. Historically, Adnan Bin Abdul Kareem Ahmed Alkaissy El Farthie better known as Adnan Al-Kaissie, was a former Iraqi professional wrestler and manager who remains best known as Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey, Billy White Wolf, or General Adnan.
In 1971 he defeated the legendary André the Giant in Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad. In the World Wrestling Federation now known as WWE, during the summer of 1990, he allied with Sgt. Slaughter as “General Adnan” and managed him during his pro-Iraqi gimmick feud with Hulk Hogan.
We hope that through the Iraqi Fight Club, our readers will get a unique insight into sporting techniques which are not often associated with Iraq. Despite the ongoing conflicts, the people of Iraq are maintaining their own independence, while overcoming the many obstacles which have been put down before them.