UFC, the organisation representing mixed martial arts, has cancelled a fight between Daniel Pineda and Khusein Askhabov, following the latter’s arrest. Russian fighter Askhabov was arrested, along with his twin brother, Khasan, for their alleged role in a shocking abduction and robbery in north Phuket last weekend.
At around 11pm on Sunday, September 3, three Kazakh men forced their way into the home of an Italian man in the sub-district of Chergntalay.
The man was bound and gagged, violently beaten for hours, and robbed of personal possessions valued over 12 million baht, including luxury watches, iPhones, a Macbook, a debit card, and thousands of Euros in cash.
After several hours, the 3 Kazakh nationals left the villa, leaving their victim bound and gagged. They are reported to have fled Thailand on an early morning flight from Phuket to Dubai on Monday, September 4. It’s understood the victim’s debit card was subsequently used in Dubai to steal 16,000 Euros.
Later the same day, the Phuket Provincial Court issued arrest warrants for 28-year-old Khusein and Khasan Askhabov, who were arrested on Tuesday, September 5.
In response, the UFC has issued the following statement:
“UFC is aware of the recent arrest and allegations regarding Khusein Askhabov. The organisation will continue to gather additional details regarding the incident. UFC will allow the legal process to play out before making any additional statements, however, his scheduled fight on October 7 has been cancelled.”
The fight between the Russian and his American opponent, Daniel Pida, had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas.
According to local media reports, Askhabov had been training in Phuket, at Muay Thai camps in Chalong, and more recently, Chergntalay. The victim of last weekend’s attack says he has never seen his 3 attackers before but made the acquaintance of the Askhabov twins about a year ago, after meeting them at a beach bar in the Chergntalay area.