Sajad Gharibi, or the Iranian Hulk as he used to be known, is pumping iron following his combat banishment.
Hulk is back active in bodybuilding after going completely off-grid following a humiliation on his boxing debut in the sport.
Gharibi began posting on social media five weeks ago but only in Instagram’s “highlights” section.
It’s been almost three months since Hulk took a humiliating beating in a boxing match. In August, he backed away from the limelight after being accused of hood-winking his way into the sport using doctored images to gain recognition.
Weeks ago, Gharibi reponed his Instagram to the public after blocking new followers. It seems he wants his fans to know Hulk is back lifting weights and bulking himself up for something new.
Iranian Hulk pumping iron
Previously, Gharibi or his team wouldn’t allow any further Instagram likes until they underwent a screening process.
After taking a massive amount of trolling and abuse online following his first boxing bout, Gharibi closed his social media at one million followers.
This scenario transpired after Gharibi deleted every image that depicted him as a mammoth bodybuilding beast.
If any new fans wanted to see his Instagram images, they first must have been accepted by Gharibi and his team.
While he switched on the screening option, the administrator took many photos from the Sajad Gharibi Official page. There are now just fourteen left and only seven posts from this year.
One is from 2021, one from 2018, and the rest from 2017. The final one is a poster of ex-undisputed boxing champion Mike Tyson.
However, the highlights are now showing new content dated mid-September. He seems to want to be known as Sajad Gharibi moving forward.
His Iranian Hulk persona vanished into thin air after opponent Kazakh Titan dropped and stopped Gharibi in one round of their Dubai collision.
It was a pitiful performance from Gharibi after months of public relations painting him out to be a massive warrior ready to destroy anyone in the ring.
He was so embarrassed by the event that Hulk didn’t make any public appearances to the media for weeks. Nor did he share any posts until three weeks ago.
Doctored Catfish images
Those accusations got aimed – not only at Gharibi – but his team. Doctoring of images using photoshop is alleged.
They reportedly made the Iranian look far more significant, imposing thin in real life.
The first evidence of this came when Hulk was due to battle Martyn Ford in a UK boxing match earlier this year. Gharibi turned up at a Middle East press conference and appeared only half the man he portrays.
Ford, nicknamed “The World’s Scariest Man” by UK tabloids, massively towered over him. Ford would have eaten him for breakfast in a boxing ring.
After a mini-brawl went viral at the press conference for the main event, Ford decided to pull out of the fight in fear of hurting Iran’s hero.
The Briton was one hundred percent correct in doing so. Gharibi went on national TV and broke down, stating his family would disown him.
Just months later, Djumanov Almat Bakhytovich took advantage of Gharibi before ending the fight early. Again, Gharibi felt shame.
Gharibi undoubtedly had little knowledge of how to box and needed much more training to be ready for any fight.
A torrent of abuse followed, and Hulk took action. Deleting all suspect images that faced questions of photoshopping was the first port of call.
There could be more damage control to follow as Gharibi considers his future in combat sports, certainly under his old “Iranian Hulk” moniker.
At this point, not many promoters would touch him with a bargepole. He can only turn around the damage caused if he is apologetic and true to himself.
It’s not over yet as Hulk finally emerges from his hiding place. What move he makes next is anyone’s guess.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.