Nobody enjoys lackluster contests, but we all sit through them with the hope being that the pace and action will pick up — Mairbek Khasiev doesn’t do that.
Khaslev, president of prominent Russian MMA promotion Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA), drew attention at the weekend when he went to unconventional lengths to improve a ‘boring’ matchup at the ACA 141 event. By improve, we mean take it off our screens entirely…
After hitting the limit of his patience during a fight between UFC veteran Rashid Magomedov and former ACA welterweight title challenger Ali Bagov, which was a quarterfinal matchup in the organization’s lightweight tournament — so not an inconsequential fight to pull this stunt on — Khaslev entered the cage and with the authority of a Roman emperor ordering death upon a gladiator, firmly gave the universally known hand signal for ‘enough of this sh*t’.
Having been alerted to the move, the sport’s most prominent promoter is taking notes.
Dana White: “That’s F*cking Awesome”
There’s been a few fights in recent memory that could perhaps have done with a Khaslev-esque intervention. While Rose Namajunas’ UFC 274 defense versus Carla Esparza comes to mind, given the fan perception, maybe even Israel Adesanya‘s latest retention wouldn’t have reached the final horn in ACA — unless Khaslev is an Undertaker fan, that is.
Perhaps the most recent instance of an underwhelming UFC night came just days ago at the season-opener of Dana White’s Contender Series. After sitting through a lackluster set of bouts, the UFC president gave a passionate speech about the kind of performances he expects on the show.
With that in mind, it’s little surprise how White reacted during the post-fight press conference when asked about the crazy moment in Russia.
“Wait, what happened?” White questioned in disbelief. “Who did this? That is f*cking awesome. That is — props to that guy, yes. Highly, incredibly unprofessional, but f*cking awesome at the second time. Was it really a boring fight?” White asked whilst laughing.
“Well, that gives me some f*cking ideas for next Tuesday. Believe me, there’s been days where I’ve wanted to throw a chair in there. But yeah, just gotta sit there and take it or get up and go to the back. One of those two things is probably what the guy at ACA should’ve done. But good for him,” White concluded
Let that be a lesson to next week’s DWCS hopefuls. Don’t impress? Risk being met with the figure of a less than impressed White entering the Octagon, perhaps with Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard in tow as his foot soldiers.
What did you make of the ACA president’s move?