The mixed martial arts craze has apparently permeated the animal kingdom.
Few events in nature are more exciting than a good, old-fashioned giraffe fight. However, one of these tall brawlers took giraffid grappling to the next level after seemingly judo-throwing its opponent to the ground during a fight over females, as seen in this wild video.
The fight footage was actually filmed in 2018 but only recently surfaced social media, where it racked up 3.9 million views, Kennedy News reported.
“I’ve been a guide in Kariega for 11 years and I have never had such a sighting like this,” Wayne Howarth, 31, told Kennedy of the epic savannah showdown, which he stumbled across while leading a tour through Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa. The long-legged love rivals were reportedly fighting over a “female who was coming into oestrus,” according to the game guide.
The grudge match begins with the two giraffes — the tallest animals on Earth, with a maximum height of 20 feet — jousting each other with their whip-like necks. Then, in a sequence straight out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the younger male places his head under his nemesis’ back leg and hoists it into the air, sending the older bull toppling to the ground.
The clip concludes with the winner placing a hoof on its body — as if striking a victory pose.
The high-flying finishing move made quite the impression on Howarth, who had witnessed many giraffe fights but had never seen a “knockdown,” he said.
“The guests were shocked to witness such an encounter,” the awestruck animal-lover exclaimed. “It really was nature in its true raw form.”
Thankfully, the loser eventually got up following the takedown, and neither of the combatants apparently suffered any injuries during the fracas, according to Howarth.
Like any MMA fanatic witnessing a fight-ending blow, online fight fans were equally impressed by the giraffe judoka.
“That giraffe has definitely been watching the UFC,” wrote one armchair martial arts expert.
Another wondered if the victor “took a judo class before.”
“The giraffe is trained by Khabib Nurmagomedov,” quipped another commenter, in reference to the undefeated former UFC lightweight champion.
“It’s as if the winner didn’t know what to do with a downed opponent,” said a viewer of the bout’s exhilarating finale. “Normally I suppose they’d bang at one another until one cried and ran away.”
This isn’t the first time an animal has showcased some serious martial arts skills. In July 2020, a bear in Japan went viral after busting out a nunchuck routine that would put “Kung Fu Panda” to shame.