Despite originally being granted bail at 5 million rubles (approximately $173,179), former Bellator prospect Rasul Mirzaev will now remain in Russian jail until a hearing on October 17, after a judge rescinded his bail at the request of the state. Russian news outlets report that the Moscow City Court was unhappy with the original judge’s ruling and thus ordered a new ruling the next day.
Russian officials cited that the previous judge did not adequately determine Mirzaev’s flight risk or whether he was a danger to society. The last judge agreed with Russian officials, believing that if Mirzaev would likely try intimidate or harm witnesses to the August 13 incident. Mirzaev’s defense council vehemently opposed the ruling citing that if Mirzaev had wanted to do either, he would not have turned himself in to Russian authorities nor issued an apology to the family of the victim, Ivan Agafonov.
Agafonov’s family also made news Friday by filing suit against the Russian Sambo Federation demanding 1 Million EUR (approximately $1,440,200) compensation for the student’s death. The lawsuit contends the RSF recklessly teaches dangerous techniques to students in order to profit from their winnings. The family’s lawyer contends that the suit is aimed at establishing a security system that would decrease the likelihood of future offenses. The RSF, most known for its association to Fedor Emelianenko, has yet to comment on the development.
Meanwhile, as more facts are revealed about the case it becomes apparent that this incident is the result of an unfortunate series of events rather than a cold-blooded killing. While the incident was caught on tape, the tape’s poor quality lacks a definitive depiction of what happened that night. What is known is that Agafonov used a remote controlled car to get the attention of Mirzaev’s girlfriend, which also gained the attention of Mirzaev. Agafonov told Mirzaev he wanted to “give the girl a ride” and extended the “offer” to Mirzaev as well. Mirzaev then destroyed the car and Agafonov began hurling insults at both Mirzaev and his girlfriend. Mirzaev approached the larger Agafonov where the two exhanged words before Mirzaev threw a short left hook to cheek of the former police school student. Agafonov fell and hit his head and was out for several minutes until his friends woke him up (with Mirzaev’s help) and took him to the hospital. Doctors said that Agafonov appeared fine at first examination but rapidly digressed sometime after that. Agafonov was later found unconscious on the floor his hospital room, he never regained consciousness.
While Mirzaev admitted to striking Agfonov to Russian officials, he denied that he intended to kill the man and claims to have acted in self-defense against the larger man. Mirzaev pointed to the fact that he did not throw a proper punch aimed at the jaw (a one-punch KO spot), nor did he throw it with his power hand. Mirzaev argues that at his size (5’7″ 145) it made little sense to just stand there when it became obvious one of them was going to throw a punch. His lawyers also contend that Agafonov’s intoxicated state contibuted more to the fall than did Mirzaev’s punch.
The case has sparked a firestorm across the Russian media world with verbal attacks being launched at the unpopular sport of MMA (a fact that many Americans believe the opposite is true due to Fedor), to the southern Russian states, and to all communities of Muslims. With violence and mistrust of the government already running rampant in Dagestan (as well as Chechnya and Ingushetia), the Mirzaev case has done nothing to help the feelings. The unsteady relationship between the Kremelin and the region is caused by the aforementioned fears of the government paired with fears of militant muslim guerrilla fighters.
With these debates playing out in the Russian media, the case has become exactly what Mirzaev’s representation wanted to avoid, a public trial of MMA and Islam in southern Russian. These debates illustrate a case, that should be treated as an accidental death related to a bar fight, has taken on a life of its own.
Pictured: Rasul Mirzaev