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MMA fighter foils police to escape custody in Russia

The fighter remains on the run and is believed to have fled St. Petersburg, Russia.

An MMA fighter from Uzbekistan is on the run after escaping custody in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Bunyod Tukhtayev, 28, was detained by members of the Russian Center for Combatting Extremism last week on suspicion of trafficking in falsified migration documents and QR codes used to verify COVID-19 vaccine status. He also faces charges of violence towards an official after resisting his initial arrest.

Footage showed Tukhtayev resisting arrest by grappling with two officers on the street. He was eventually overpowered and was taken into custody. The next day, however, the MMA fighter staged a more effective escape when he asked to go to the bathroom and then staged his escape when he returned to the preliminary detention room.

According to reports, Tukhtayev slipped past the unlocked door and was not noticed by the three police officers on scene, one of whom was reading a newspaper while the others were working on their computers.

Tukhtayev remains on the run though Ministry of Internal Affairs officials are conducting a broad search for the fighter in St. Petersburg. It is unclear whether Tukhtayev is still in the city.

Tukhtayev previously had a history as an MMA fighter. Most recently, the Uzbek native lost to Dostonbek Dostmurodov at an R3 Fighting Championship event in St. Petersburg earlier this year.