Home » Mixed martial arts: Why the Baki-Doumbé fight fascinates the French-speaking world so much

Mixed martial arts: Why the Baki-Doumbé fight fascinates the French-speaking world so much

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Mixed martial arts: Why the Baki-Doumbé fight fascinates the French-speaking world so much

Published7. March 2024, 06:10

Mixed martial arts: Why the Baki-Doumbé fight fascinates the French-speaking world so much

The Accor Arena in Bercy will vibrate like it rarely does on Thursday evening. The PFL fight between Cédric Doumbé and Baysangur Chamsoudinov is “the place to be”.


The Franco-Cameroonian is a self-confessed loudmouth.

IMAGO/RJ Pictures

Around 11 p.m., the two French MMA (mixed martial arts) stars will compete in the octagon and it is a huge event in France and for followers of the discipline in French-speaking Switzerland. The media and social networks have been on fire all week and their fight promises to spark sparks, inevitably in front of an audience of stars who will want to show that they were there. Enough to almost overshadow UFC 299 on Saturday in Miami, where Benoît Saint Denis will meet Dustin Poirier in the co-main event, just before an excellent Sean O’Malley – Marlon Vera,

This clash, mounted by the PFL Europe – the Professional Fighters League is the division that is rising and which is almost becoming a real competitor to the historic UFC – will pit two athletes who have not yet experienced defeat. “Baki” (23 years old) has seven victories in as many fights in MMA, including four by knockout. Doumbé (31 years old) won his five fights and all before the limit, including the last in around ten seconds in front of Jordan Zébo.

The two fighters played their role well, selling tickets in a few minutes. Known for his punchlines, Doumbé put on a show as usual, claiming to have already reserved a hospital room for his opponent. The two welterweights (less than 77 kg) were also supposed to meet to explain things under the Eiffel Tower on Monday evening, but the meeting ultimately did not take place. When Doumbé finally arrived, Chamsoudinov had already left. Practical.

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It must be said that the two men seem to hate each other cordially. Or, if it’s done to launch hostilities, it’s pretty well done, for two men who have never worn the slightest belt, but who compile 1.1 million followers on Instagram for Doumbé and 313,000 for the former judoka. Marketing did its job well and the French’s love for MMA did the rest. It must be said that the public across Jura has long been frustrated, the discipline having been illegal in the country until 2020.

Between the Frenchman of Chechen origin and the Franco-Cameroonian, there is also almost a generational conflict, between the fighter who is rising and the one who calls himself the best in the country or even in the world, but who is still over thirty. As a bonus, the two men have been sleeping occasionally for almost two years. “Doumbé? I’ll take it easy!” “Baki” explained at the time and, since then, the mayonnaise hasn’t had time to go down. As a bonus, both camps have apparently prepared a few surprises for this Thursday evening.

The “hype” is such that after attacking Kylian Mbappé or attempting a short-lived conspiracy career around Covid vaccines, rapper Booba went for his little buzz by tweeting that “Doumbé is nobody in MMA in any case . He has fought no great MMA fighter. Dare to say the opposite!” That can also be measured by the interest in a fight…

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