Over the weekend, history was made in Dubai’s iconic Coca-Cola Arena as Social Knockout – the world’s first cryptocurrency event put on an unforgettable event for thousands of fans, including boxing fans, followers of social media influencers, and the royal family.
In attendance, there were also 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 that was used to purchase the event tickets, live stream access, as well as 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 massive crowds that attended in person, many more tuned in via live broadcast from all around the world, making the hybrid physical and digital event really unique.
In the main event of the evening, the UAE’s very own, Rashed “Money Kicks” Belhasa, secured a tight unanimous decision victory against his fellow Jordanian opponent, Youtube superstar Anas Al Shayib. Anas led the opening round, baiting Money Kicks and aggressively swinging with an ambitious technique that would ultimately unravel. Though Alshayib was quick on his feet, his cardio was no match for the relentless footwork of Belhasa, who skilfully took advantage of the fight in the latter rounds, taking him apart with dexterity and powerful punches.
“It was a close fight, but I think I successfully blocked everything he [Anas] threw at me. I edged out the win with more significant strikes and counters. I was never once hurt in there and I felt I moved more and controlled the ring the entire fight,” says Belhasa, confidently.
In the co-main event, there was no love lost between Youtube sensation Adam Saleh and Tiktoker, Walid Shark; the brother of popular Arab influencer Noor Star, who was also in attendance to cheer her sibling on. Both influencers are no strangers to the ring, with Adam racking up more than 10 amateur boxing matches alongside his successful social media career, and Walid Shark, a veteran boxer with more than 4 amateur wins to his name. The fight sent an electric shock throughout the Coca-Cola Arena with both fighters having moments of dominance inside the ring and deafening cheers and chants from the crowd. By the end of the third round, the judges had concluded the fight a majority draw.
Whilst the beef may not have been settled in the ring by these two rivals, both Adam and Walid showed respect to one another post fight and agreed that a rematch should happen as soon as possible.
Other notable fights to mention in last night’s most iconic Dubai event included popular American Youtuber, Slim “The Hitman”, AlBahar and Mido “King Anibus.” Slim, known for his funny Youtube antics showed Dubai, and the world that he’s more than just a prankster by dethroning the King with a 1st round KO 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 confident that this is the future of entertainment, and it’s only the beginning for his new brand, “we have already had many offers come from other markets like KSA, UK, and America. My phone has been blowing up nonstop since last night’s event with so many potential offers and exciting new ideas to launch”.
Tam continues to show appreciation for his city by saying, “I think what we did last night was not only historic with the world’s first crypto event, but also we showed the world that Dubai and the UAE doesn’t need permission to put on world-class events. This country has always been so great to me and my family, and it has been my mission to make this city the hub for combat sports and entertainment in the region since I first landed here in 2008.”
The evening’s program was not only filled with exciting 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 off their feet with memorable live performances in between matches. Fans were treated to an atmosphere that has never been experienced in this region until last night.
Tam Khan proudly ended the night by stating, “This is only the beginning. I am very happy with the positive feedback and international interest that we are receiving from this event. I’m going to enjoy the weekend and come Sunday, we’re back to work on building this brand to be something bigger and better.”