Over at HKL we've been celebrating the return of Badr Hari with a post a day looking back at some of his best and worst moments. The series will be continuing all next week. This is my contribution to the series.
The government is tottering. We must deal it the death blow at any cost. To delay action is the same as death.
-Vladimir Ilyich Lenin-
I, like every other writer on this site, have been going on a bit of a Badr Hari binge in preparation of his eminent return on the It's Showtime card in Lyon in nine days. I've rewatched every Badr Hari fight I can get my eyes on, and honestly I struggle to think of a more enjoyable assignment. What's really struck me about Badr Hari's fights isn't just his aggression or power. Those two traits are obvious. Anybody who watches a single second of a Badr fight can see that. What really impressed me and shocked me even was Hari's determination and persistence. His drive to finish the fight not with his physical assets, but by his sheer will and volition.
Badr Hari fights like a revolutionary. No revolutionary, or perhaps even man, ever possessed the extreme voluntaristic drive to change and shape the world they lived in quite like Vladimir Lenin. Lenin ate, drank, and slept a revolution which for the majority of his life looked as though it would never come into fruition, and never would have if it weren't for his tireless effort. He advocated that a revolutionary must be a professional, that every aspect of the revolutionary's life would be focused on the cause. The October Revolution of 1917 wasn't just the culmination of his life's work, it was the culmination of his life. Lenin shaped the world he lived in with his iron will and focus. It's a trait shared by few men in history. Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Alexander. These Hegelian figures reshaped the world with their drive, opting to cut the knot in half instead of untying it.
Badr Hari fights like one of them. It may not have been one of his career's highlights, but Badr's 2010 win over Alexey Ignashov was a perfect example for this. They had met before back in 2003 when Hari was still just an 88 kilogram twinkle in his mafia boss's eye. At that time Ignashov was still the toast of the kickboxing world and the favorite to go on to win the Grand Prix. Hari on the other hand was a late replacement for Melvin Manhoef and completely undersized and under-prepared for competition like Ignashov. Ignashov, for his part, fought like the massive favorite he was; Hari, on the other hand, refused to play the part of overmatched underdog. Ignashov was too much for the skinny Hari. He outpointed him throughout the three rounds and eventually dropped Hari with a body punch. The last image of the fight consisted of Ignashov humiliatingly teaching Hari how to breathe and recover from the blow.
But Hari had absolutely no business even making it that far against Ignashov. The entire fight Badr had that look in his eye, that dead set stare, that made you think he didn't realize that he was supposed to be the underdog. He came at Ignashov with everything he had, even a flying head kick at one point. At the end of the fight the announcer prophetically argued that we should re-watch this fight in five years. It took seven, but he was right.
You can finish reading this here including links to fight videos. Sorry, but I like the clicks. And I'm especially sorry to Lowell The Hammer who will be sad to see that I didn't put a jump in the original post and he's going to have to take the ten seconds to scroll down. I hope the read is worth it.