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Russian MMA champ set for final fight before being drafted in Ukraine war

Vladimir Mineev is scheduled to take part in a kickboxing bout in his native Moscow next month, according to promoter Kamil Gadzhiev.

Fight Nights Global And Gorilla Fighting Championship In Moscow Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Despite being drafted to fight in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Mineev plans to take part in one more bout before being sent to the front.

The AMC Fight Night middleweight champion is scheduled to take part in a kickboxing bout in Moscow next month before joining the Russian army just a few days later. The news was announced by Mineev’s longtime promoter, Kamil Gadzhiev.

“Objectively speaking, before joining the army, Vladimir Mineev will only be able to fight according to the rules of kickboxing,” Gadzhiev told RIA Novosti. “It is scheduled for November 18 and will be held in Moscow, at CSKA Arena. Mineev will fight with the Brazilian Fernando Rodrigues. I think that the FKR (Russian Kickboxing Federation) Pro belt will be at stake in the fight. I believe that many athletes who are known for their performances in other sports can take part in this kickboxing tournament in Moscow.”

Mineev, 32, revealed last month that he was drafted as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization order—the country’s first mobilization since World War II. Mineev is a former paratrooper who served in the Russian military for several years. His younger brother, Pyotr, was killed fighting in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When asked how his family was handling his draft notice, Mineev said that “a lot of women have been crying in many Russian homes in recent days. My house is no exception.”

Russia launched its war on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, resulting in a humanitarian and refugee crisis that saw more than 7.6 million fleeing to neighboring countries. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 14,059 civilian casualties during Russia’s military attack on Ukraine as of Sep. 9, 2022, according to the United Nations.

Since debuting in 2014, Mineev has compiled a 16-1-1 professional MMA record, which includes 11 knockout victories. He claimed the AMC Fight Nights middleweight title at the Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov memorial event in September 2020.