Feuding politicians settle differences in ring with savage three-round MMA fight
Two feuding Amazonian politicians, including the Mayor of Borba, have settled their water park feud with a three-round punch-up at a gymnasium.
The ultimate fighting-style rumble in the jungle has fuelled fears over an increasingly antagonistic style of Brazilian democracy.
Simão Peixoto, the mayor of Borba, a town 90 miles south of Manaus, was publicly challenged to the fistfight in September by a former councillor named Erineu da Silva.
Silva, who uses the nickname Mirico, was reportedly furious at the mayor's alleged failure to conserve a waterpark near the Madeira river and demanded a showdown with Peixoto, who he has called a "rotter" and a "crook".
Peixoto accepted the challenge, publishing a video online indicating his readiness to thrash Silva by pummeling his palm with his fist. "Show your face!" the mayor told Mirico.
The Borba mayor softened his tone after some voters suggested that his conduct was unbecoming of an elected official of an Amazon outpost.
Peixoto assured citizens he would only take part in an organised altercation inside a ring.
"I'm not a street fighter…" he said on his official Facebook page in a video released early November. "I'm the mayor of the municipality of Borba.
"[But] if he really wants to fight… we're ready to fight… I've always been a winner."
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A month later, the fight commenced, in the early hours of Sunday, with hundreds of paying spectators packing the gymnasium of a local school.
Peixoto swaggered into the ring at around 2.30am, surrounded by aides and carrying a black towel with the name "Jesus" stamped on it.
The mayor appeared in an aggressive mood, stamping on the platform and squaring up to his rival.
"Twice he went over to his opponent's corner and ran his fingers across his throat – the sign of a reaper," reported the website BNC Amazonas.
The 13-minute skirmish – which Peixoto's team live-streamed – said Borba's conservative mayor landed several painful blows.
In the opening seconds, the 39-year-old briefly knocked Mirico to the ground.
But Mirico, 45, fought back. After three shambolic rounds for the challenger, "the mayor of Borba was almost unable to walk because of the number of low kicks he received from his adversary," reported BNC Amazonas.
"The mayor took such a beating his jaw dropped," another regional website, Fato Amazônico, reported.
Even so, Peixoto prevailed in the brawl of Borba. "Strangely, Mirico lost on points," Fato Amazônico said.
"'A stitch-up,' spectators shouted, disgusted with the result."
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