Dmitriy Sosnovskiy—an undefeated former UFC heavyweight—has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in a maximum security prison after being found guilty of kidnapping and extorting a businessman from Moscow, Russia.
Sosnovskiy, 31, was arrested along with four other suspects on charges of abduction and extortion in September 2019. The group reportedly kidnapped the businessman by forcing him into an unmarked car before taking him to an office where they threatened to murder him if he did not pay them 300,000 rubles (approx. $3800). When they failed to intimidate the businessman, one of the gang members reportedly attempted to choke the victim unconscious.
“Having received a refusal from the abducted man to fulfill their illegal demands, one of the accused grabbed the victim’s neck with his hands – blocking his access to oxygen, which made him lose consciousness,” the prosecutor’s office stated in the press release.
The businessman reportedly escaped when the five kidnappers left the room. He then went to the police, which led to their eventual arrest.
Sosnovskiy compiled an 11-0 undefeated record between 2013-18m most of which ended by knockout or submission. Following a stint on the Russian scene, Sosnovskiy signed with the UFC in 2016 and eventually made his debut in 2018, where he defeated Mark Godbeer by submission at a UFC event in London.
Choosing not to comment at the time, Sosnovskiy’s training partner and fellow UFC heavyweight, Alexey Oleinik, described himself as “frustrated” and “disappointed that such a situation has occurred.”
This is not the first time that a Russian MMA fighter has been jailed for crimes of a serious nature. In 2018, Anar Allakhveranov was sentenced to 18 years after killing a champion power-lifter during a street fight. Later that year, several MMA fighter tied to oligarch Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Summa Group were arrested for attempting to murder fellow fighter Shamil Kuramagomedov. Most notably, Alexander Emelianenko was handed a 4.5 year jail sentence for sexual assault and kidnapping.