‘Gladiator’, the fighter friend of Mohamed VI, faces devastating criticism for his lifestyle

Morocco has been witnessing since last May a systematic attack in the Moroccan press against a person linked to King Mohamed VI for three years. This is Abu Bakr Azaitar, a 34-year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter of German-Moroccan nationality. The criticisms extend to his brother Ottman, also a wrestler and four years younger, and to Omar, their manager, coach and twin of Abu Bakr. The history of this friendship dates back, at least officially, to Friday, April 20, 2018.

King Mohamed VI received in audience that Friday at the Royal Palace of Rabat the three brothers, who arrived in black suits and black ties. The official MAP agency released a photo with all four posing behind a combat belt trophy. Next to the image was this succinct paragraph: “The sovereign thus received Abu Bakr Azaitar, the first Moroccan to sign for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the most important world league in this combat sport, Ottman Azaitar who won the Brave Combat Federation world championship, as well as Omar Azaitar, his agent and member of his technical team ”. That day, the monarch appeared with them in public presiding at the Friday prayer. And they posted the photo on social media.

From there it was learned that they had been born in the German city of Cologne, to parents from Al Hoceima. It also transpired that in 2003, when the twins were 16 years old, they appeared before a Cologne court accused of beating a businessman, spraying him with gasoline and stealing his Ferrari.

Little by little, they became more present in the life of the country, even in some official acts. On November 6, 2019, Abu Bakr and Ottman attended the official events of the 44th anniversary of the Green March in Laayoune. And they kept posting photos on social media.

Abu Bakr Azaitar, at a boxing competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March 2021.Mike Roach (Zuffa LLC)

The digital publication Hespress, the most widely read in the country, reported on the alleged police records of the three brothers in Germany. And he emphasized the history of Abu Bakr: “Computer fraud, driving without a license, attack against physical integrity causing permanent disability, drug trafficking, theft, counterfeiting and resistance to the force of order. This is the incredible pedigree of Abu Bakr Azaitar. Even before he was 25 years old, he was already chaining sentences more easily than those who wear pearls: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and another two in 2012 ”.

Regarding the sports career of both, Otman Azaitar was temporarily excluded from the UFC Fight Island competition, for breaking the anti-covid-19 sanitary protocol. And a week later, Abu Bakr was separated from official competitions for doping for seven months.

But the hardest blow came on Thursday, July 8. The same digital site, Hespress, anonymously, published an article entitled: “Abu Bakr Azaitar: the boxer who would have wanted to be a prince.” He criticized the fact that the boxer publishes photos on social networks with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, that he appears wearing the country’s coats of arms around his neck, “whose use is reserved for the King or the Government,” and that he offers a image “overreacted” of patriotism. The article insists that the behavior and signs of affluence of the three brothers damage the “credibility of the country” and are time bombs that will not take long to explode.

The article wields that the sports career of the brothers does not justify the luxuries that they allow themselves. “Where does the fortune of the Azaitar come from?” He wonders. He points out that the three brothers have just opened a restaurant on the Spanish Costa del Sol and are preparing to open another two in the La Marina marina, in Rabat. The article concludes that in Morocco there can only be one king and one crown prince. Advise Abu Bakr Azaitar to read Rasputin’s story. “But will he be able to understand it?” Asks the article. The mythical Russian monk, who had a great influence on Tsarina Alejandra, was assassinated in 1916.

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‘Gladiator’, the fighter friend of Mohamed VI, faces devastating criticism for his lifestyle

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