Powerlifting sensation Sajad ‘Iranian Hulk’ Gharibi may have met his match in a potential MMA debut opponent that goes by the same nickname – ‘Brazilian Hulk’ Romario Dos Santos Alves – if rumors are to be believed.
At the end of April, twenty-seven-year-old Gharibi announced to his close to half a million Instagram followers that he was making the transition into mixed martial arts from weightlifting, and would make his debut against an unnamed Brazilian opponent before the end of this year.
I’m finally accepting my first professional fight from a Brazilian fighter before 2020,” Gharibi wrote on Instagram. “I’m ready for the challenge.”
Given the ambiguity surrounding his opponent, rumors have now emerged that fellow weightlifting fanatic Romario could be lined up as an opponent for the 6ft 2in, 385 lbs colossus.
And it seems Romario has turned green with envy at the planned arrival of another muscled beast in his homeland, and reportedly threatened to “tear off” the head of Gharibi should the two meet in the cage.
Romario, who hails from Caldas Novas just south of the capital Brasilia, likes to live up to his moniker and regularly covers himself in bright green body paint and wear nothing but ripped blue shorts in the style of the Marvel comics hero.
The threat of fighting his fellow-MMA first-timer is unlikely to worry Gharibi. The English breakfast enthusiast has professed his intention to join the Iranian armed forced in their battle against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Although Romario, 29, boasts 62 cm biceps, he would be giving away considerable weight to the Iranian should the two fight. Standing at just 5ft 8in tall, the South American weighs a relatively light 229 lbs, meaning he would give away a one whole Conor McGregor in weight.