An MMA fighter who trains with legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko competed in Friday’s AMC Fight Night event in Sochi while sporting a prominent neo-Nazi hate symbol.
Grigoriy Ponomarev, 26, appeared on the AMC Fight Night broadcast with a Sonnenrad tattooed on his left elbow. The hate symbol, also known as a Black Sun, was appropriated by the Nazi Party and SS, and is now synonymous with far-right groups that traffic in neo-Nazi ideologies.
Though billed as a future contender, Ponomarev was pummelled by Dagestan native Shamil Gaziev throughout the course of their main card match-up until the referee put an end to the beating at the start of the second round.
Ponomarev has competed for AMC Fight Night (previously known as Fight Night Global) since making his professional debut in December, 2020. Prior to turning pro, Ponomarev competed at the 2018 Russian Amateur MMA Championships , as well as the 2018 IMMAF World Championships, compiling a 5-2 amateur record. Ponomarev subsequently tested positive for anabolic steroid Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone LTM (DHCMT-LTM), serving a two-year ban after taking the World silver medal.
Update: Neo-Nazis aren’t very good at this MMA thing. pic.twitter.com/GrdtdQ4kIR— Karim Zidan | كريم زيدان (@ZidanSports) September 24, 2021
While Ponomarev is a member of Emelianenko’s team in Starky Oskol, Russia, he admitted that he has not had much opportunity to train with the legendary Russian heavyweight. “He comes to the gym in Stary Oskol and is always open to helping us there. He comes to support us. There is always a 100% opportunity to come up, ask something, consult. But there were no sparring sessions with Fedor,” Ponomarev said in a recent interview.
It is worth noting that Ponomarev was not the only fighter who competed on Friday’s AMC Fight Night event while sporting a hate symbol. Lightweight Stanislav Slavyanov also appeared on the undercard with a Black Sun tattooed on his left elbow. The Ekaterinburg based fighter lost his fight by guillotine choke in the second round.