If you own a Muay Thai or Kickboxing gym you wouldn’t expect anyone to come in looking for a fight.
For former Glory Kickboxing fighter Shemsi Beqiri not only did someone come into his gym looking for a fight, they brought 20 masked men armed with bats and other weapons.
The whole incident took place in 2014 at Reinach Superpro Sportcenter in Basel, Switzerland. That is the gym of Beqiri.
For those not familiar with Shemsi Beqiri, he a Swiss Muay Thai fighter and Kickboxer. He holds a record of 76-9 and has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the world including Giorgio Petrosyan, Robin van Roosmalen, and Yoshihiro Sato. You might ask who would try and run up on him in his gym and challenge him to a fight with 20 armed and masked men? The answer is pretty crazy.
His former trainer Paulo Balicha, was the man behind the raid.
This sounds like something out of a martial arts movie at this point, but it actually happened and it was recorded. In true hero fashion, Beqiri told his students to back away and stepped up to fight Balicha.
The two men were only wearing hand wraps. You would think that being strikers this fight would stay on the feet, but this was basically a street brawl. Unlike a street brawl, however, there was technique involved. Balicha must not have been confident in his stand up because he continuously tried to take Beqiri down.
Beqiri eventually gets Balicha on the floor and start to unload on him and then the masked men intervened and the video cuts off.
Beqiri stated that Balicha was wearing brass knuckles during the fight. After the video cut off a brawl ensued and six people were injured. Beqiri fractured his hand and nose. Because of the injuries he had to withdraw from a scheduled fight at Glory 14.
Pretty crazy. Check out the video below, Beqiri is the one with hair.
Luckily this situation did not turn out any uglier. It had bad news written all over it and things could have ended up a lot worse. Yes, six people getting injured and Beqiri having to withdraw is not a great outcome, but at least everyone was able to walk away with their lives. As the saying goes live to fight another day.
This is definitely not how martial artist should be acting and Balicha should be ashamed of himself. My hat goes off to Beqiri who stood up not only for himself but for his gym. He could have tried to run but instead faced Balicha in what seemed like a no-win situation to stand by his gym and his students.