Professional MMA fighter Rasul Mirzaev is lucky to be alive following a vicious three-man attack that took place at his home on December 31st.
Mirzaev, who suffered the first defeat of his 18-fight career via unanimous decision to Levan Makashvili at Fight Nights Global 54 in November, was shot three times with a weapon similar to a high-powered BB gun, beaten with a baseball bat and strangled with chains during the assault, according to a piece by BloodyElbow journalist Karim Zidan.
Bizarrely, early reports in the Russian media, via Zidan, suggested that a row over a potential Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC lightweight title fight started the sequence of events that led to the attack.
According to these reports, Mirzaev was hanging out with UFC fighters Ali Bagautinov and Artem Lobov, a training partner of McGregor’s, at a Moscow nightclub when a group of males from Nurmagomedov’s home region of Dagestan approached Lobov and initiated an argument.
Later, Mirzaev was said to have been involved in a physical altercation with a member of the Dagestani group.
When Zidan contacted Lobov for comment, the Dublin-based Russian’s statement described a slightly different situation. Lobov claimed that the men from Dagestan had actually been respectful towards him. He did, however, confirm that a fight had taken place between Mirzaev and one of the men, although he seemed unaware of exactly what had caused hostility between the groups.
“On 16th of December Rasul and Ali took me and Peter[Queally] to a night club in Moscow. There I was approached by a few Dagestani males, they were quite friendly towards me and just wanted to say that they respect the fact that I support Conor as we came up together, despite the fact that Khabib is Russian. While we were talking, one of Rasul’s friends and one of the Dagestani males started to get verbally aggressive with each other (not really sure what the reason was), however nothing really happened there as myself and Rasul very quickly stopped the incident from escalating and we all got on with our night. As far as I was concerned nothing else happened and I didn’t even pay much attention to this incident as it was very minor and that is why I gave you my initial statement.”
“However I was later informed that at some point later that night Rasul was going to the bathroom and one of those Dagestani males punched him in the back of the head, Rasul started defending himself but everything was broken up by security. When I asked why no one said anything to me about this, I was told that the guys wanted me to enjoy our night and didn’t say anything as anyway it wasn’t that serious. This is what led to the attack on Rasul at the end of the year.”
Lobov had made the trip to Moscow not to party with Mirzaev and Bagautinov but to support his aforementioned SBG teammate Peter Queally. Welterweight veteran Queally was scheduled to face Akhmet ‘Butcher’ Aliev as part of the Fight Nights Global 57 show at Moscow’s Sports Palace Dynamo on December 16th, but the fight was cancelled after Aliev failed to make weight.