'Iranian Hulk' Sajad Gharibi ready to take his Instagram body into the boxing ring

Sajad Gharibi.
Sajad Gharibi. Photo credit: Instagram / Sajadgharibiofficial

Going toe-to-toe in a bare knuckle boxing bout is bound to be intimidating no matter who your opponent is.

But if you happen to step into the ring with Sajad Gharibi, the fear-factor might be even higher.

Gharibi, aka Iranian Hulk, aka Persian Hercules, is the latest signing to the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, a legal glove-free fisticuff contest based in Philadelphia. 

The 187cm bodybuilder will be stepping into the ring - all 177kg of him - next year to take on anyone brave enough to stand in his way.

Iranian Hulk has a cult following on social media, with more than 450,000 followers on Instagram.

Despite his size, Gharibi doesn't actually have any fighting experience. Earlier this year, Gharibi announced he had accepted his first professional fight, with Brazilian Romario dos Santos Alves, aka the Brazilian Hulk. That content was cancelled however, with the Iranian Hulk saying the Brazilian Hulk didn't "have the guts to face me".

"He wanted to knock my head off, what a hilarious joke!" the Iranian wrote on Instagram.

Gharibi's signing to the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship was made on Saturday (local time), reports MMA Fighting.

Although no opponent was mentioned, the signing was promoted with the tag lines "2020", "World War III" and "USA vs Iran".

"He's literally our biggest signing we've ever had," Bare Knuckle Fighting Chapionship's president  David Feldman said, according to MMA Fighting. "But he's going to make his way over to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, he's gonna make a home here, and we expect really, really big things from 'The Iranian Hulk.'"

In 2016, Gharibi announced on his Instagram page that he would help out his country's army in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) as a volunteer soldier.

In a video, he said: "I want to say that I'm a defender of my country."

"General Soleimani, all the martyrs and the selfless people who give their lives for our country are my heroes, and we have them to thank for the peace in our country."

He added, "After Ramadan, I hope to start up my training again and reach my goal, in two or three years, to be in good enough shape to be of service to my country."