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Russia Roundup: Main event brawls, grenade launchers, and knight fights in Moscow

BloodyElbow’s Karim Zidan rounds up the latest news, updates, and videos from across the world in Russia and the Caucasus.

Anton Tabuena

The proliferation of Russian MMA over the past few years has become impossible to deny. There are approximately 30 fighters on the UFC roster of Russian origin and that number is gradually rising with each passing month. With an endless array of prospects in Russia, as well as the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya and Dagestan, it can get difficult trying to keep up with the regional scene and notable happenings from that side of the world.

Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the ‘Russia Roundup,' a bi-weekly series of articles that will serve as your multimedia guide to staying up-to-date with the Russian MMA scene. Whether it is the latest news, signings, or prospect talk, this is the place to read up on the Russian MMA.

Latest Roundup

  • According to a report from Sportbox, Ramin Zeynalov, a mixed martial arts fighter from Azerbaijan, died in the cage during a national MMA event in his home country earlier this week. The 27-year-old seemingly suffered a devastating blow to the head, which lead to his collapse on the canvas. Doctors were unable to revive him and quickly pronounced his death. The cause of death was later deemed a brain hemorrhage.
  • The main event of the Prof FC 57 show last weekend ended in an all-out brawl following a controversial scoring error that led to a fourth round between the two combatants. The judicial error forced a fourth round in the fight, where Mikhail threw a Hail-Mary flying knee late in the fight and knocked Shamil out cold. As Mikhail celebrated his victory by running around the cage, one of Shamil's cornermen dived onto him from above the cage, while another ran inside and threw a pair of knees at his head. Once Mikhail was able to separate himself from the pack, the brawl ensued, all while Shamil lay unconscious on the canvas. You can watch the entire scene here.
  • M-1 Global announced a knight fight between Evgeniy Bedenko and Ivan Vasliev is scheduled to take place on their upcoming M-1 Challenge 56 event in Moscow. Details available here.

Regional News

  • Do you want to become a coach in Chechnya? Fight Club Berkut, which is the home of UFC fighters Mairbek Taisumov and Zubaira Tkhugov, is looking for a new head coach to run their team in Grozny. The fight club shall cover costs of living and the salary is negotiable. Those interested should contact topteam.promotions[at]
  • Tural Ragimov has been forced out of his featherweight title fight rematch against M-1 champ Ivan Buchinger with tuberculosis. His replacement at M-1 Challenge 56 will be Aliyar Sarkerov and the contest will be a three-round non-title fight.
  • A second title fight has been added to the impressive M-1 Challenge 57 fight card, which already touted a champion vs. champion main event. Now, a lightweight title fight between M-1 champ Maxim Divnich and former BAMMA champ Mansour Barnoui.

Russians on the UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas card

Milana Dudieva is set to take part in just her second Octagon outing to date when she meets Julianna Pena on this weekend's main card. Both females are coming off a significant layoff and have no fought since 2014.

Alexander Yakovlev will meet former title challenger Gray Maynard on the preliminary portion of the Fairfax fight card. Given that Maynard is on a dramatic downward trend, Yakovlev will have the opportunity to earn his first UFC win in three attempts. A loss for him here could signal the end of his short tenure with the promotion.

Shamil Abdurahimov will make his UFC debut on the early portion of the prelims on Saturday morning against Timothy Johnson. The Dagestani heavyweight is coming off a decision win against Kenny Garner and has not lost a fight since 2011.

Russian MMA on Instagram

This week, clips were released of current UFC fighters Mairbek Taisumov and Zubaira Tukhugov posing alongside Roger Huerta with some remarkably intimidating firepower. There is also a short clip of Vinny Magalhaes firing a grenade launcher.

Here is another of Huerta learning to use an assault rifle.

Scheduled Events in April

April 10th: M-1 Challenge 56

April 17: Absolute Championship Berkut 16

April 18: WWFC - Cage Encounter 4

Violence in Video

Welcome to Chechnya?


Maybe we should be comforted by the fact that Roger Huerta is learning other things in Chechnya than simply firing menacing machinery.


Watch the full Fedor Emelianenko seminar from his time in Dubai: