Sunday, December 4, 2022

Watch: Former UFC Heavyweight Among Mass Arrests In Bosnia

A former UFC heavyweight fighter has become the latest to be detained in a period of mass arrests in Baltic nation Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

In 2022, dozens have been taken into custody on charges ranging from drugs and weapons trafficking to murder and prostitution in the European country. The investigation stems from the use of SKY and ANOM mobile devices, with deciphered communications leading to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office opening the case.

Those arrested have included the chief police inspector of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republika Srpska (RS), a state police officer who protected the building of the Presidency of BiH, and the head of the regional office of the Intelligence – Security Agency of BiH.

Outside of administration, though, one name that may be familiar to the more hardcore mixed martial arts fans has become implicated in the crimes.

Former UFC heavyweight Denis Stojnić, 42, was among those arrested. The MMA fighter resides in Sarajevo, the nation’s capital, where he also owns a restaurant. “The Menace” entered the Octagon on two occasions back in 2009, losing both bouts.

Per the Sarajevo Times, Stojnić was the best man for Elvis Keljmendi, who was also arrested earlier this year in relation to the SKY investigation.

A video posted on YouTube by Klix TV, titled “Denis Stojnić handed over to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office,” appears to show the moment of the MMA fighter’s arrest.

Stojnić was actually scheduled to be in action last week on the Bellator Milan card. He was booked to face 15-1 Russian heavyweight Oleg Popov, who added to the worrying late-career woes of Antônio “Bigfoot” Silva this past July.

Days after that bout was called off, with the promotion citing COVID-19 protocols as the reason behind the cancellation, Stojnić has found himself in police custody.

Stojnić Faced A Former Heavyweight Champion During Short UFC Stint

Stojnić has accomplished the rare feat of competing under the UFC banner during the 2000s and remaining undefeated ever since.

“The Menace” arrived in the Octagon in 2009 having built a 5-1 record across regional promotions in Croatia, Serbia, and the Netherlands. His first assignment came against then-future heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez.

At the time, Velasquez was just 4-0 and had won twice in the UFC, stopping Brad Morris and Jake O’Brien with first-round knockouts. While he did manage to see a second frame at UFC Fight Night 17, Stojnić ultimately fell in similar fashion.

Four months later, the Bosnian fighter made his second and final appearance inside the Octagon. At UFC 99: The Comeback, he was submitted in round two by fellow European Stefan Struve.

Since his 0-2 run on MMA’s biggest stage, Stojnić has gone unbeaten in 11 appearances. While he was away from the sport between 2016 and 2021, a period that included a cancelled bout against Ante Delija at KSW 51, he returned last year and has since added two first-round finishes to his record.

In 2019, Stojnić hit the headlines after preventing an assault on a woman outside his Sarajevo nightclub. Now, though, “The Menace” is the one on the wrong side of the law.

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