Bigfoot Silva knocked out by Russian neo-Nazi in boxing match

Less than two weeks after being knocked out at a ‘Hardcore Boxing’ event in Moscow, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva suffered yet another KO loss this…

By: Karim Zidan | 11 months ago
Bigfoot Silva knocked out by Russian neo-Nazi in boxing match
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Less than two weeks after being knocked out at a ‘Hardcore Boxing’ event in Moscow, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva suffered yet another KO loss this past weekend at the hands of a Russian neo-Nazi.

The former UFC fighter was defeated by Vyacheslav Datsik with a standing technical knockout in the second round. It was Bigfoot’s eighth consecutive defeat in a losing streak that stretches back to his TKO loss to Mark Hunt at UFC 193.

After wobbling Bigfoot with a punch that appeared to come after the bell in the opening round, Datsik resumed his onslaught in the second round, pushing Silva into a corner and landing several devastating blows that forced the referee to intervene.

Best known for his KO victory against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski, Datsik has a lengthy criminal history that includes assault, robbery, murder threats, raiding brothels to humiliate sex workers, and escaping from a psychiatric unit.

Datsik’s pivot to crime began in 2007 when he embarked on a series of armed robberies of phone shops in St. Petersburg. He avoided criminal charges after being diagnosed with schizophrenia but was placed in a high-security mental institution.

In 2010, he was transferred to a low-security psychiatric clinic, which he promptly escaped from after tearing a hole in the fence. He then illegally crossed the border into Norway and turned himself over to the Norwegian authorities and asked for political asylum. He was denied asylum—Datsik had reportedly arrived in Norway covered neo-Nazi symbols, handed in a loaded handgun, and declared himself “not a nationalist but a racist”—and was deported back to Russia.

Norway’s decision to deny Datsik political asylum was rooted in the fighter’s role in the Slavic Union, a Russian neo-Nazi organization that was later banned following charges that the group promotes ideas similar to the ideology of “Nazi Germany.” Datsik was one of the extremist group’s most prominent members and had been known to propagate Nazi symbolism in the past.

Then in 2016, Datsik declared a “war on prostitutes” and broke into a brothel, where he assaulted the sex workers and forced them to walk naked through the streets of St Petersburg. Datsik filmed the entire incident, entering each of the private rooms, attacking the sex workers and tearing off blankets they used to protect their identities.

Datsik was later detained and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison. Upon his release, he reinvented himself as a freakshow boxer.

Despite his history of violence and white supremacy, Datsik has been welcomed back into the Russian combat sports community and is expected to face convicted rapist Alexander Emelianenko in a future bout.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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