GLORY star Zack Mwekassa survived a horrifying carjacking incident just 15 days before he headlines GLORY 29 SuperFight Series vs Zinedine Hameur-Lain.
Mwekassa was driving near his home in South Africa where carjackers forced him off the road and robbed him at gunpoint before one of the assailants pulled the trigger with a pistol pointed at the kickboxer’s face.
Miraculously – the gun jammed. When the would-be murderer attempted to fix gun, he accidentally ejected the magazine, rendering the gun useless. The gang then fled.
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Mwekassan told UFC.com: “Car-jacking is something you have to be concerned about in South Africa. It happens and you read about it, but when it happens to you it is scary. These guys stopped me on the road, they had two cars, one in front of me and one behind me. The one on front slammed on the brakes to make me stop and the one behind blocked me from (escaping). Then they ran to my car waving guns and opened my door and put a gun to my head. They searched me and the car and took what they wanted.
“Then the guy with the gun to my head pulled the trigger.
“There was a click - but nothing happened. He tried to fix the gun but then the magazine dropped out. The other guys wanted to get away fast, so they all ran to their cars and left. I was lucky, really lucky. I don't know what to say. I can only thank god.”
After settling himself down Mwekassan, who moved to South Africa three years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo, noticed that in addition to money and other valuables, the gang had stolen his passport.
He said: “That was a disaster. It would take me months to get a new one from Congo and I would miss my big fight in GLORY and maybe not fight until late in the year. But later my friend had some contact with some street guys and, long story short, a gang came forward with possession of my passport. They said I could buy it back for $1,000 US dollars.
“It is a lot of money, but what could I do? So I got the money and I went to these guys – which in itself was not really safe – and I got my passport back. My reasoning was that it is not only my Copenhagen fight I would miss, but also any fights in the next three or four months at least.”
Mwekassa bounced back quickly from the incident. Once he recovered his passport he returned his focus to the Copenhagen headlined fight with Frenchman Zinedine Hameur-Lain.
Last year Mwekassa, who stopped former UFC veteran Pat Barry by KO in his GLORY debut, challenged for the GLORY light-heavyweight title but lost a close decision. This year he wants the gold; he sees Hameur-Lain as being in his way.
“Nothing personal but I have things to achieve this year and whoever stands in my way is going to get hurt,” he says.
And with a near 100 percent KO-rate in his victories, that isn't just idle chatter. Mwekassa a former WBF boxing title holder – is a fighter who puts opponents down hard.
“Every time I get in the ring, you get bombs and drama,” he said. “For me I don't just want to win, I want to win a way that makes you turn to your friends and say, 'Did you see what just happened?!'
“That's the reaction I am looking for next week in Copenhagen. Watch this fight if you want to see something really explosive.”
Mwekassa's fight with Hameur-Lain headlines the GLORY 29 SuperFight Series card airing live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS. The entire 5-fight event will be LIVE on FIGHT PASS at 10:30am PT/ 1:30pm.