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Azerbaijan Federation releases statement on fighter death at local MMA tournament

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The Azerbaijan Pankration Federation has released a statement regarding the 27-year-old fighter who died during a local MMA fight.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Several days ago, it was reported that MMA fighter Ramin Zeynalov died in the cage during a MMA event in Azerbaijan earlier this week.

The 27-year-old fighter, who died of a brain hemorrhage mid-fight, suffered a devastating blow and collapsed onto the canvas. When doctors were unable to revive him, he was pronounced dead.

While Ramin had competed without his parents' blessing in a sport they considered to be far too brutal, there was no blame placed on the tournament or the federation that organized it. Ranim's brother revealed that there would be an official investigation but that the family had already forgiven his opponent and the tournament.

However, the following day, the Azerbaijan Pankration Federation released a statement to Azerisports.com that placed the blame entirely on the combatant.

You can read the translated version of the statement below:

"Firstly, we would like to say on the record that the competition was in amateur MMA, not Ultimate Fighting. The death happened suddenly. Ramin Zeynalova was not hit with a powerful blow when he collapsed and fainted. It is a risky sport, a sport I would not put my son in. But he took part in the championship.

The athlete's death is not our fault. Ramin Zaynalov was involved in sports for many years. He had previously been involved in taekwondo and kickboxing and had provided us with a certificate of health from a doctor. This was God's destiny. May have been due to health problems. Even family members said that the death of Ramin is not our fault."

The deceased fighter's father shared a similar outlook:

"My son competed without my permission. We were against it. I did not give him permission, he did not listen, and as a result - death."