UFC featherweight Khusein Askhabov has been yanked from his planned October bout with Daniel Pineda after being arrested in Thailand.
The Russian fighter, who previously trained with Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand, has been hit with some serious charges based on a robbery carried out against an Italian man who was kidnapped, bound and gagged, and robbed of numerous valuables including a Rolex watch, Macbook, and iPhone 14. 40,000 euros in cash was also pilfered, along with the victim’s debit card, through which additional funds were illicitly obtained.
Askhabov is not believed to have personally taken part in the robbery, per a report by The Phuket News, but was rather involved in orchestrating the attack, carried out by three Kazakh men. Askhabov’s twin brother Khasan was also arrested following an investigation.
That report does not paint a pretty picture for Askhabov, who has been charged with offences relating to “the act of robbery done with cruelty to the extent that others receive it and endangering the body or mind through torture.”
In a statement released to media, UFC officials wrote that “UFC is aware of the recent arrest and allegations regarding Khusein Askhabov,” adding that “The organization 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 Oct. 7 has been canceled.”
Askhabov is 0-1 in the promotion, falling to Jamall Emmers in his debut earlier this year. The loss was the first of the Russian fighter’s career, following a 23-fight win streak dating back to 2012.
Luckily, with the event, headlined by Bobby Green and Grant Dawson, several weeks away, the prospects of finding a replacement opponent for Pineda are high. It may be a long while before Askhabov is able to fight again— if ever, based on the charges before him.