Former WWE champion the Iron Sheik has catapulted back into the limelight in recent years, trading a dignified obscurity for a second round of fame, if not fortune. A brand new audience has found the wrestling legend, mostly by way of his rant filled Twitter account.
It's an account not for the faint of heart. Common lines of decency are crossed on a regular basis, including racial and religious taunts that are generally not considered fair game. Even fans are encouraged, on a daily basis, to "f*ck yourself."
The Sheik's favorite targets include Chris Brown, Kim Kardashian and, of course, his old wrestling nemesis Hulk Hogan. It was Hogan who, in 1984, took the WWF championship from the Sheik in Madison Square Garden, ending a title reign that lasted just 28 days. The Sheik won the title from Bob Backlund in December 1983 after Backlund's manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel when Sheik had the champion trapped in his dreaded Camel Clutch.
Before his career as a professional, Sheik enjoyed significant success as an amateur wrestler, winning the AAU Greco Roman championship in 1971 and helping coach the 1972 American Olympic team. Naturally, Sheik is a fan of mixed martial arts, which is how UFC challenger Nick Diaz recently found himself in the Sheik's sights.
Diaz, a Mexican-American fighter from Stockton. Calif. recently lost a unanimous decision to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The fight was years in the making and preceded by copious trash talk on Diaz's part. After the bout a despondent Diaz admitted to the assembled media that he had never paid income taxes and was afraid he would end up in jail. Later his manager attempted to walk those statements back, but the Sheik certainly has a nose for weakness.
Will Diaz respond to the Sheik's taunts? Will he laugh or seethe? Could the world be lucky enough to get the two in the same room at the same time for a monumental interview? I will be watching this story closely and bring you updates as warranted.
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