A rising MMA star has sparked controversy by pretending to shoot an unconscious opponent with a gun after a devastating KO.
Asiashu Tshitamba rocked Billy Oosthuizen with a brutal front-kick to the face in the Extreme Fighting Championship recently.
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Oosthuizen was unconscious on his feet, before crumpling to the mat after a follow-up strike from Tshitamba.
The MMA world widely celebrated the stunning KO, but Tshitamba’s actions immediately afterwards caused some outrage.
The South African fighter celebrated his KO by pulling out an imaginary gun and pretending to shoot Oosthuizen twice.
Numerous fans immediately moved to condemn the disturbing act.
I’m all for celebrating after a massive KOd but that one was a little too much. But that is just my personal opinion and I’m a nobody so who cares— Nobody Special (@NewGin95) August 13, 2019
Sure, promote this ko and the gun shots celebration at the end, because it's not like we've had a few mass shootings the past week. #GunViolenceInAmerica #EndGunViolence @perform #tonedeaf #classy #mma #bushleague #gunviolence #shooting #MassShootings— Brendan Cronin (@chalice_hurler) August 13, 2019
Crazy technique, excellent KO, but I just can't stand the obsession with the "gun shot" or sometimes cutting throat celebration. Really can't distinguish the sport with the violence already deep in people's mind?— Haslek Lee (@Hasleker) August 12, 2019
One of the best front kicks ever. Then one of the most ridiculous hot dogging after. I’ll hate this fool forever. Act like you’ve been there before.— BobbyDimes34 (@BDimes34) August 10, 2019
If I am a future opponent of Tshiramba, if I KO him, after that disrespectful taunt he did there, I am being far more flamboyant and disrespectful.— Riley Kontek (@BigRilesMMA) August 10, 2019
What sort of sick sport is this? Why is it even aired?— Mudskipper🦐 (@ifeanyiMeja) August 10, 2019
Classless, I’m sure that’s gonna get him far.— Cody (@CodyBear6) August 13, 2019
The coldest celebration I’ve ever seen— KD7 burner account (@TysonMcGregor) August 13, 2019
EFC boss defends Tshitamba
However the EFC's Vice President for Talent, Graeme Cartmell, said fighters are free to celebrate however they see fit.
"I've got the be honest with you, we take a stance that these guys are presenting their own images," Cartmell told Business Insider.
"And whatever they do will ultimately encourage fans to garner them in high regard or see them in the way a few people have seen them on Twitter.
"50% of the room are gonna go 'that was awesome' and take it like a cowboy reference to Billy The Kid, and others will say it's not the way to do it.
"I certainly wouldn't condone it from that perspective, but if that's how he celebrates, that what he's chosen to do."
It marked Tshitamba’s fourth-straight victory in the EFC, improving record to 4-1.