Khetag Pliev still has a finger following the now infamous events that transpired on Thursday night in Philadelphia, PA.
Pliev competed in the co-main event of Cage Fury FC 94 opposite of Devin Goodale. The fight had several odd moments, but none more so than what happened at the end of the second round. As Pliev was being attended to by his cornermen, he suddenly realized that the ring finger on his left hand was now missing.
The cageside doctors stopped the fight, Goodale was declared the winner by way of technical knockout and the search for the missing finger was on. Fortunately, the finger did not completely detach as what was immediately thought, but rather bent all the way back inside of the glove. Pliev was immediately taken to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery, with doctors able to successfully reattach the finger.
“I’m doing better,” said Pliev. “I went to the emergency [room] from the fight this morning, had a good doctor there. Her name is Maggie Wilson and she attached my finger back. They put and sewed it back. It was hanging on the skin. The cut the glove off, put it back and now I’m in the cast.”
Pliev’s coach, Joey Patterson, added some additional info, including what led to the finger being separated from the rest of his hand. A full breakdown of this account was recently released on the YouTube channel of Cage Fury Fighting Championships as well.
“What happened was Khetag got the takedown — now this is all on film — when Khetag has the takedown, the fighter reaches under and grabs his glove and starts pulling illegally on his glove and it caused Khetag’s finger to lodge,” said Patterson. “Once the finger lodged and they came back up to their feet and started throwing punches, Khetag has a very hard punch. When he threw the punch, the finger was already bent and caught in there, it caused the finger to sever.
“The finger didn’t completely sever. There’s a lot of different speculations out there, like ‘Oh, he totally lost his finger’. The finger was hanging by a thread. It was hanging by the skin, but it was lodged inside the glove and at that point he finished the round, came back and he didn’t say anything about it. He kind of almost tried to hide it and that’s when the doctors noticed it and said we had to stop it.”
Pliev knew something was wrong with his finger by the end of the first round, but fought through it until it was declared he could no longer keep going. He wanted to continue fighting because he knew this may have been his chance to accomplish the goal of getting signed to the UFC.
“When the round was done, I sat down and I looked at my finger and it was gone,” said Pliev. “I couldn’t see my finger because it was in the glove. And I just thought, man, all this work I put in and I get a missing finger. That’s what I thought. I said all the work we put in and I almost started crying. Not for the pain or even the finger, but I said I knew the doctor was not going to let me keep fighting. I put so much work in and I want to get to the UFC. That has been my dream and a lot has happened in my life and now something crazy like this happens.”
Pliev must now recuperate from surgery and meet with a hand specialist in coming weeks. It has been reported that he will need a second surgery to repair a torn tendon, but Pliev is taking this entire situation in stride.
The plan for Pliev and his team is to get back to fighting at 100 percent and explore the option of getting the result from the Goodale fight overturned from technical knockout to disqualification.
“What we’re going to do is appeal the decision because it should be a disqualification,” said Patterson. “That’s what it should be because you’re not allowed to pull on the glove. In MMA, that’s a no-no and if you see the video, even the announcers are saying he had his hands inside of his gloves. He literally hooked inside of the glove and was pulling and caused his finger to get lodged in there.”
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