Update: UFC cancels booking after fighter arrest connected to kidnapping, torture charges

A UFC fighter has reportedly been arrested in connection with a violent robbery in Thailand.

By: Zane Simon | 3 weeks ago
Update: UFC cancels booking after fighter arrest connected to kidnapping, torture charges
UFC featherweight Khusein Askhabov. - Diego Ribas IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Back in 2022, the UFC signed one of the most hyped prospects in the featherweight division: 27-year-old Chechen standout Khusein Askhabov. Alongside his twin brother Khasan Askhabov, the the two MMA standouts have been wrecking shop on the Eastern European regional scene for years. When his signing to the UFC was announced, Khusein sported a perfect 23-0 record (Khasan currently sits at 22-2).

Unfortunately for Askhabov, his Octagon debut didn’t go according to plan. Matched up against sneaky-tough veteran Jamall Emmers, ‘Nohcho’ found himself on the wrong end of a unanimous decision. The first loss in his unbeaten career. But that setback appears little more than a tiny bump in the road compared to the problems he’s facing now.

UFC fighter Khusein Askhabov reportedly detained along with twin brother in connection with violent robbery

The Phuket News reports that both Khasan and his brother, UFC featherweight Khusein Askhabov, have been arrested in connection with a violent robbery in Cherng Talay, a district of Thalang on the island of Phuket.

According to reports, three unnamed men (said to be Kazakh nationals), broke into the alleged victim’s home while he was sleeping, proceeded to bind and gag him, and then tortured him over a series of hours in order to gain access to computers, phones, and bank account information. During that time the men were reportedly in regular phone contact with a third party apparently orchestrating the crime. The incident was eventually reported after the attackers fled and the man was able to roll out of his home and into a parking lot in the resort community where the attack took place.

Authorities have not stated what role they suspect the Askhabov brothers of playing in the alleged robbery, kidnapping and torture. However, the brothers are not believed to have been physically involved in this incident.

The alleged victim reported that he had never seen any of the men that attacked him, who have apparently since been identified by authorities and are said to have returned to Kazakhstan, via Dubai. The victim claimed, however, that Khusein and Khasan were acquaintances, and that he first met them at a beach cafe a year prior to the robbery.

According to the Phuket News, government officials have yet to officially acknowledge the incident, which is said to have seen a Rolex watch, a Patek Philippe watch, a GRAFF watch, assorted electronics, and €56,000 in cash taken, along with a passport, debit card, and numerous passwords. However, the Cherng Talay Police Chief did confirm with the outlet that the 28-year-old twins had been arrested on Tuesday, September 5th on warrants citing “an act of robbery done with cruelty to the extent that others receive it and endangering the body or mind through torture.” In total something in the neighborhood of $350k in assets were reported stolen.

Khusein Askhabov booked to fight Daniel Pineda in October

Whatever future prosecution may await the Askhabovs this news will almost certainly put a stop to Khusein’s immediate future with the UFC. The former Tiger Muay Thai talent (reportedly recently having moved camp to Cherng Talay), has had numerous issues getting to the Octagon in his short history with the UFC. Visa problems and injuries have resulted in the cancellation of four out of five bookings in the last three years.

At the moment, Khusein had been preparing to fight Daniel Pineda at UFC Fight Night: Dawson vs. Green on October 7th, his first time hitting the cage since his loss to Emmers back in February. It has to be expected that that fight will be cancelled in the coming days.

For his part, Khasan Askhabov has not competed since at 2020 win over Cliff Wright, in Biloxi, MS. That fight marked the first time Khasan had ever competed outside of Eastern Europe. Two attempted bookings in Bellator have since fallen through, with Khasan withdrawing from both contests.

UPDATE: UFC officially cancels Khusein Askhabov’s upcoming fight

The UFC has announced that Khusein Askhabov vs. Daniel Pineda will no longer go ahead on October 7. The promotion also released a statement on this matter (via MMA Junkie).

“UFC is aware of the recent arrest and allegations regarding Khusein Askhabov,” the UFC said in a statement. “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.”

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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