UFC gyms around the world are popping up universally. From the continental US, all the way to Pakistan. However, these gyms are franchises that are independently owned, away from the internal operations of the original UFC brand. The story we obtained documents the shady secret operations of a UFC gym in Pakistan, or lack thereof. This mind-blowing story features MMA fighter Dominque “Fallen Angel” Robinson and serves essentially as documentation of false promises, lies, and unlawful restraint.
Here is the story of how a potential head coaching job at a UFC Gym in Pakistan, led to a dangerous escape mission from an alleged “shady, dangerous, and powerful” man named Shazad.
Dominique Robinson Documents Original UFC Gym Offer
I spoke with Robinson to discuss the details of the implied head coach position. Partnered with his documentation, I performed an investigation to see how narratives aligned. The story arose as Robinson declared he was reached by a woman named Shaza on LinkedIn about being a head coach for the UFC Gym in Pakistan.
As of now, Shaza is still actively seeking a head coach for a UFC gym in Abu Dhabi, on the social media platform LinkedIn.
The Initial UFC Pakistan Gym Offer
Initially, Robinson stated that he wasn’t interested because he was “happily entrenched in South East Asia with family for years already, fighting, with a job, business, house, and was thousands in on visa cost.”
However, he was approached by a man named Eddie Alaqra who supervised the project for a very powerful & rich individual of Pakistan named Shahzad. Shazad owns many businesses, real estate, and runs much of Pakistan’s martial arts programs. I believe this individual to be Rao Shahzad, who is the current owner of a UFC gym in Pakistan, according to the gym’s website.
However, when going to the official page of the gym, the website takes fans to an address of “Defence Road, Block K Valencia, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.” After searching the address, I couldn’t find a UFC gym within a 25-mile radius of the location.
In fact, it appears that the exact address listed on the site in a run-down, dilapidated building.
Eddie offered Dominique a substantial solo package. However, Robinson declined the deal because it didn’t factor in his family. Which, is the most important thing to him.
The next day, Eddie called back and informed Dominique that Shahzad himself said Dominique was indispensable and to work out “whatever is needed.”
Details of the Offer
The men came to an agreement after Eddie offered the “family package” via Shazad. Here were the details of the promised package.
“The package we worked out was for me to be head MMA, boxing, and kickboxing coach, as well as putting a fight team together, and then getting me fights,” wrote Robinson.
“The family package was to be $7700 a month, a house, food from a personal chef, personal driver, plane tickets there and back to the U.S taken care of, all visa cost covered, health insurance, immediate high-end clientele private sessions in which I would get 60% per, and these clients were supposed to already be in house in an open gym.
Robinson also informed Eddie that he had a child with him that had to be supervised. So, they reconstructed the deal to include his wife managing & design the children’s room of the gym, keeping the rest of the deal the same with the exception of pay decreasing to $6400 a month. As well as, a commitment that when he recruits & trains fighters, the money would increase per 5 recruits.
Initially, the opportunity was brought to the table in October of 2019. By the time December arrived, the deal was complete. However, Robinson had to cancel his family’s jobs in Thailand, stop his personal business, and canceling his family’s visas. All of these steps were required and demanded, with the notion that the rest is taken care of upon arrival.
Breaching the Deal
Initially, Robinson was told to arrive on January 5th to prepare for the soft opening of the UFC Gym in Pakistan which was set to be on January 15th. However, after promised flights never came to fruition, Dominique had to fly his family out on his own dollar and didn’t arrive until February. Because of the late arrival, he was promised that he would receive backpay upon landing.
“We were supposed to be there Jan 5th to (prepare) for the ‘soft opening’ Jan 15th, after they originally said everything was open,” said Robinson. “And, at this point, we were stuck because we had given up a 1000’s of dollars costing visas for a family in Thailand, jobs, work permits which cost, house, business, car, etc losing TONS of money for guaranteed opportunities.”
He continued, “They never got the plane tickets and Thailand fines you for overstay. So, I had to fly my entire family out of the country to get stamps to stay a bit longer because we couldn’t do border drive crossings, as Thailand changed the laws, like always, to minimize that. After losing out for more than a month they made me pay for all our visas and us find our own flights there, arriving in Feb, the 1st week if I recall correctly, saying they would pay us back upon arrival.”
Staying in a Hotel
Upon arrival, Robinson and his family were placed in a nice hotel. However, the name of the hotel wasn’t revealed to me. Simply that it was accommodating and admirable.
“We stayed in a hotel (for) the first few days. (A) nice one and Shahzad took us out to eat at his friend’s place. I informed him I had no Pakistani money on me and offered him $1000 USD to exchange. He gave me $1000 in Pakistani money as a ‘gift and welcome because I’m his brother.’ I tried to decline because I don’t like things over my head but he insisted.”
Dominique Entering the House
After leaving the hotel, Robinson and his family made way towards the house. However, there was no chef, food, essentials, or driver. Which, were all the things said to be included in the package. Furthermore, outside of the internet, which arrived late, he and his family had to pay for everything. To make matters worse, Robinson was then informed that the house would be shared by three other occupants. Again, much different from the initial luxurious agreement.
Dominique noted that he noticed a pattern with the occupants who arrived at the residency.
“I noticed a recurrent theme of them being people from poorer countries or backgrounds all telling us they ran here because they had nothing. 1 Brazilian girl even saying she was making $12 a day and a Jordanian and his Russian girlfriend not having a home, a Cuban from Cuba, and a Swet South African I became friends with not having a job…amongst others.”
However, the silver lining was a friend from the United Kingdom by the name of Andre Benkei, a former Strength & Conditioning coach for the American Top Team. Benkei was present because they allowed Dominique to find someone for the declines gym manager position that they offered his family for an additional $500 a month. As well as Marcos Santa Cruz, a jiu-jitsu player, and mixed martial artist.
False Promises to Dominique
Deservingly so, he was enraged at the circumstances. While there were countless deceptive assurances that never reached fulfillment, Robinson was now stuck sharing a house with strangers and having to pay for it. On top of that, the gym was still not open. Therefore, Eddie and Shazad were not paying anyone inside of the house. As well as not paying for Visas for anyone to return where they were, although the gym wasn’t completely built.
Next, the members of the house were instructed to do physical labor from a woman named Danyella, who was Eddie’s personal assistant. She proclaimed it was part of the job, and instructed them to inventory and carry around the gym equipment that belonged in the building. The house members were all told that the gym would be built in January. However, at this point, it was February and the gym still didn’t exist.
When Lies Become Dangerous
This is when things began to spin out of control. Shazad called for a surprise meeting after the free labor conflict. Robinson then stated that the home became guarded with custom AK-47 assault rifles and surveillance gear to assure that nobody left the location of the home.
“Our houses got stationed with guards with AR’s, 24/7, who informed them of our every move,” said Dominique.
“Houses bugged, which we found out when they knew our private conversations, and wouldn’t allow us to go anywhere alone. Once, sending 5 people to retrieve me unsuccessfully when I told them they’d have to fight me to get me from helping my friend, the British girl I invited. Who (in fact) was sick & needed to go to the pharmacy, (only) one block away.”
Dominique then befriended one of the stationary guards of the home by bribing him with money and food. This was easy to do, as Shazad apparently didn’t take care of the guards or feed them.
The purpose of this was to move within the walls of the home freely from being spied on. This was after a huge incident when he went to talk to his British friend. Armed guards made him leave the house she was in. Additionally, they told him they can’t visit each other’s houses, excusing it as a rule of their country.
Details About “Shazad” and Eddie Alaqra
However, one employee was Pakistani and said that rule was false, as well as a rich neighbor in the area. After a friend of Santa Cruz was hired in the area, they asked around about Shazad. They were informed that Shazad is a “Pakistani mobster” and known by locals as “a dangerous, rich, powerful, shady individual.” Furthermore, that Eddie and Danyelle have destroyed many MMA gyms in Dubai and were ran out of UFC gyms.
Eddie has 20 years of experience working within a corporate health and fitness environment. Additionally, he has worked in the US and been in the Middle East for 10 years. Currently, social profiles state that Eddie works at the UFC Pakistan gym in Lahore, which does not seem to exist.
Attempting to Leave
Robinson’s family was fired. The reasoning was that they couldn’t manage the kid’s room because his kid couldn’t be at the gym when they changed position from gym manager to kids room manager. Due to that reasoning, Robinson asked for what he was promised initially so that he could leave. Needless to say, those inquiries weren’t met, and even led to a physical confrontation between himself and Eddie.
I ask(ed) Eddie for my flight money home. Visas money, pay, etc and he says we get nothing cuz Shazad gave me $1000 and supposedly paid 1000’s to get my dog. When I wasn’t having the s**t he stood up telling me to ‘watch who I’m talking to’ and I basically, told him to ‘sit the f**k down or I would beat the f**k out of him.’
The head of security came and got me & walked me away, telling me he respects me cuz I’m the only one who greeted him & all the “normal workers” daily and shared my food and such & said that Shahzad and these guys are “shady, dangerous, and powerful” and we need to get our families out of there.”
Getting the Media Involved
Marcos Santa Cruz allegedly used his connections within the country to call a politician connected to the United Arab Emirates. Due to Cruz’s world jiu-jitsu championships and MMA fights in the UAE, he was able to document their treatment. This action caused a huge rift because Eddie and Shazad didn’t want U.S media involved and the UAE politician was friends with the president of his country.
In order to keep things under wraps, Eddie got tickets for Marcos to leave but not his family. Additionally, a ticket for Robinson to leave, but not his family.
“I went and got into it with Eddie and got 1 extra ticket, having to pay for 2 myself. We rushed off to the airport with a driver of theirs we were cool with at like 6 am.”
I implored Marcos to get a ticket but he was stuck there and told me look after his family and make sure they get on the flight as we were all headed to turkey together
I told him I’d keep reaching out to him, get the story out, help him find a way out.”
Weeks later, Marcos was able to leave the house. However, the rest of the members that were in the house are still trapped there as of right now. Due to Covid-19. returning members of Dubai weren’t able to work. Plus, the hoax cost Dominque well over an estimated $30,000. The rough estimate is based on everything Eddie promised Dominique, not even factoring losing his home and pets.
I reached out to Shaza, who is the Senior Human Resources Generalist at the UFC Gym in Dubai. No comments were available in regards to the story involving the gym. Currently, Shazad is still the CEO of the UFC Gym in Pakistan or lack thereof.
UFC President Dana White has also been asked about the events. However, we were told that the official UFC Headquarters doesn’t deal with UFC trademarked gyms.
Other people involved know about the situation and have been vocal about it on social media. Under UFC posts and posts from Dana, the comments are visible to the public.
As of Now
Currently, there are other house members who are still stuck under armed forces and surveillance according to Robinson. None of the parties involved who were promised money and incentives ever received anything.
Photos from the official UFC Pakistan gym on Facebook are generic photos from other UFC gyms in the continental US.
As the story updates, we will be sure to get an exact count of who is inside the house. As well as who left, and updates about the UFC Gym in Pakistan. Furthermore, updates about the background of Shazad and Eddie.
Once the identities of the people in the home are unveiled, we will reach out to them via interview.