On Saturday, March 11, a bout that featured renowned Russian prospect Vladimir Mineev ended in a mass brawl in Dagestan.
In the immediate aftermath of Mineev’s match-up against Aziz Dzhumaniyazov, the latter visibly kicked Mineev, who then responded with a punch to the head. Once Mineev threw the punch, the ring flooded with Dagestani locals ready to fight.
While the Russian MMA Union announced an investigation into the incident, the president of the Dagestani regional MMA Union, Shamil Alibatyrov, appears to believe the incident has been exaggerated by the media, despite video evidence that proves otherwise.
"What happened can not be called a mass brawl, as is media reported. The video can be seen clearly. When there was a skirmish between the athletes, the people ran out to the ring. But our team, I personally, match referee and the most titled athletes are not allowed to develop conflict. It was just a crush between us. A little later, I, as President of the Federation, and arranged a meeting between Mineev and Dzhumaniyazov, where they shook hands. The men made it clear that what happened was just a rush of emotions. This incident was over then.”
This is far from the first time that North Caucasus fans and fighters have been involved in post-match brawls at tournaments. A similar incident took place at Pro FC 57 in 2015, when a Dagestani fighter’s corner dove into the cage following their fighter’s surprise loss.