Saturday March 11’s bout between Vladimir Mineev and Aziz Dzhumaniyazov ended early even though neither fighter submitted and there was no knockout.
After the bell rang, Dzhumaniyazov kicked the highly touted Russian prospect, who then retaliated with a punch to the head.
These sorts of skirmishes are seen throughout the sport as some fighters try to get an edge through whatever means they can.
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If that means holding onto the cage for support or landing low blows when the refs aren’t paying attention, then they still do it and worry about the consequences later.
Hysteria broke out after that exchange as officials and fans rushed the ring to both stop the action and get a few licks in on their own.
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Russia’s MMA Union has launched an investigation into what exactly happened during the event as this incident could be reasonably labeled a bad look for the entire sport in the country.
Shamil Alibatyrov is the president of the Dagestani regional MMA Union is already trying to insititute some measure of damage control before perception gets out of hand.
He said: “What happened cannot 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 title athletes are not allowed to develop conflict. It was just a crush between us. A little later, I, as President of the Federation, arranged a meeting between Mineev and Dzhumaniyazov, where they shook hands.”
Alibatyrov believes every word of that statement and that two of his fighters were merely caught up in the moment, but the video footage is still jarring.
Fans absolutely rushed the ring and the larger brawl that transpired immediately afterward could easily be considered a mass brawl.
North Caucasus fans and fighters are no strangers to these sorts of incidents as post-match brawls at tournaments have happened in the past.
At Pro FC 57 in 2015, a Dagestani fighter’s entire corner decided to storm the cage after their fighter lost in surprising fashion.
There will be other fights in this region, but they will have to keep a more careful eye on moments like this in order to keep them from happening in the future. As a fan in the crowd, it is simple, be ready for anything and keep your head on a swivel.
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