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The Death of a Wrestling Legend

Renowned former wrestling champion Mamdouh Farag died on Friday at the age of 64. We remember his greatest achievements, and his larger-than-life personality that made him the legend we knew and loved.

A larger than life personality, Mamdouh Farag, has sadly passed away on Saturday morning after succumbing to illness, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Mamdouh Farag was essentially the closest Egypt has come to producing their own 'Rocky' story. However instead of boxing, Farag made a name in the professional wrestling world. Farag claims that he won the European championship in 1976 in Hannover, under a foreign nationality. From there, he went on to compete in the Catch Wrestling Association, beating notable opponents like Ric Flair, Tony Atlas, Greg Valentine, Vader and Tito Santana, among other notable wrestlers.

In the 70s and 80s Farag helped increase the popularity of wrestling in Egypt. Those days would be considered the golden years of wrestling in Egypt, and by the 90s wrestlers in Egypt began to fade. Farag entered retirement in 1997. Unable and unwilling to fade into obscurity, Farag continued promoting his sport, becoming a presenter of an Egyptian wrestling show on Modern Sports TV, eventually winning sports program presenter of the year 2007. Eventually this would lead to him jumping from one show to the next, always bringing to life his over-the-top personality.

One can argue that Mamdouh Farag was one of the reasons the WWE is as big as it is today in the Arab world, because of his contributions both in and out of the ring. He died of a stroke sadly on his birthday, at the age of 64, and his contributions will be missed, but hopefully his story will continue to inspire others to follow in his footsteps. Hopefully his efforts will bring a championship belt back to the Arab world, where millions continue to be die hard fans of the sport. Despite the common misgivings that wrestling is fake and not a sport, no one can dispute is that Mamdouh Farag was entertainer above all else. He put Egypt on a stage, or rather in a ring, and for that he will be dearly missed.