Following months of medical treatment in a Moscow hospital, Amar Suloev requested to return to his childhood home in Anapa last week. He knew the end was near.
Within a matter of days, Amar had lost his battle with Stage 4 stomach cancer. The UFC veteran turned alleged contract killer passed away at 3am local time on Monday, June 27, 2016.
Amar, who trained at the Red Devil Fight Club alongside the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, competed in professional MMA between 1999-2008. He debuted under the M-1 Global banner, where he lost by submission to Andrei Semenov, He then took part in a 11th edition of the World Vale Tudo Championship -- a bare-knuckle tournament - and won all three fights in a single night. His gutsy performance was featured in one of the first MMA documentaries 'Rites of Passage.'
Suloev compiled an eight-fight win streak that earned him an opportunity to fight in the UFC. His first opponent was none other than the 'Iceman' Chuck Liddell. Amar lasted the entire 15-minute stretch with the soon-to-be champion but lost a unanimous decision in the end. He was given another opportunity in the UFC against Phil Baroni, who knocked the Yezidi fighter out within the first three minutes of the fight to put an abrupt end to his UFC tenure.
Feature: UFC vet turned alleged contract killer
Karim Zidan delves into the post-MMA career of former UFC fighter Amar Suloev, who went from the UFC to contract killing.
Amar fought in the twilight of his career for the likes of Pride FC, Cage Rage, M-1 Global, and BodogFight (where he fought Chael Sonnen) before he eventually retired in 2008 with a 24-7 record. Suloev even had a submission named after him - a variation of the thigh slicer known as the The Suloev Stretch.
Following his retirement, Suloev made headlines again when he was arrested in 2013 as part of a gang charged with the attempted assassinations of political figures in Russia. He spent the next three years behind bars and on trial alongside five other defendants, including Sergei Zirinov, a Krasnodar legislative assemblyman and member of President Vladimir's Putin's 'United Russia' party.
Suloev was released from prison on bail in February 2016 when he was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer. His case was separated from the remainder of the so-called 'Zirinov gang' and suspended indefinitely. Amar was transported to a hospital in Moscow, where his health quickly deteriorated over the following few months. He passed away within four months of his release.
Several days prior to his passing, a pair of witnesses took to the stand in the Zirinov trial to offer alibis for Suloev on the day of the attempted assassination to counter the claims that he was the driver on scene. However, given his untimely death, it remains unclear whether the court will pursue the information further.
A memorial will be held for Amar on Wednesday in Anapa.