A harrowing scene took place on Saturday afternoon at an obscure MMA event in Russia, where a fighter was viciously knocked out and immediately seized up violently for several minutes.
The incident, which took place at an OPLOT qualifying tournament on Valentine's Day, immediately went viral on social media. Apart from the disturbing seizure, fans witnessed a string of incompetent reactions in the cage. The fighter was allowed to lay there on his side for several minutes while unnamed people dressed in civilian clothing attempted to revive him by pouring water on his face and fanning him with a towel. No medical staff was present on screen.
When it became clear that fanning the fighter would not help him regain consciousness, the group huddled around him, lifted his stiffened body, and moved him onto the ground outside the cage. Soon afterwards, he was carried away on a stretcher. It was the last thing fans saw on the live stream before the fights resumed as scheduled.
The entire sequence of events lasted well over six minutes and can be viewed in its entirety above. (Begins at 56:20.)
The promotion released an official statement, which has been translated below:
During one of the fights, athlete Firuz Hadibaev was hit with a kick and got knocked out. Doctors who watched the fights, namely the medical chief of the competition Dr. Tetersky Anton A., who is a traumatologist, and an orthopedist of the highest quality, and Rassulov Magomed Rassulovich, immediately treated him.
Unfortunately, they were in everyday clothes, and without medical gowns. Because of that, it was impossible to recognize them. Therefore, it was reported that the qualifying tournament did not have doctors.
The Ambulance arrived ten minutes after the incident, when Firouz has regained consciousness. The fighter was taken to the hospital, where he underwent testing. The results showed no physiological effects have been detected.
Once the tests were complete, the doctor discharged the fighter, and he left on his own. Firuz later revealed that he now feels good.
-CIO Sophia Gorchakov
What is immediately noticeable within the statement is the reason given for the OPLOT medical staff not being visible on screen. While many North American fans may dismiss this as a typical scenario on the Russian regional scene, that is certainly far from the case. At standard events throughout the country, whether in the North Caucasus or ethnic Russia, the medical staff is clearly differentiable from the average fan in the stands.
The fighter in question, Firuz Hadibaev from Tajikistan, appears to have recovered from the ferocious knockout, although BloodyElbow was unable to confirm the information presented in the statement. While OPLOT usually titles their events and has fight cards available online, there was no information available for this event.