Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
This is the shocking moment when a man is beaten unconscious – allegedly by a pro MMA fighter – for kissing his girlfriend in public in Russia’s socially conservative Dagestan region.
The brutal incident took place in a shopping centre in the city of Makhachkala on 15th March, but the footage only came to light this week.
Makhachkala is the capital of the Republic of Dagestan, a federal subject of Russia whose population is predominantly Muslim and socially conservative.
After a couple kissed on an escalator in the shopping centre, as seen in this footage, an apparently disgusted onlooker beat the boyfriend until he lost consciousness.
The footage divided netizens from this conservative corner of Russia, some of whom stuck up for the couple and others who agreed that their actions were unacceptable.
Eagle-eyed netizens identified the aggressor as MMA fighter Sharaputdin ‘Bullet’ Magomedov, 28, as reported in Komsomolskaya Pravda and elsewhere.
Magomedov reportedly later admitted to his actions in an interview with Match TV, noting that the man who was knocked out had lashed out first following a remark from the MMA fighter, whose pro record is 10 wins, zero draws and zero losses.
Police in Dagestan, however, refused to confirm or deny Magomedov’s involvement.
Dagestan is well known for producing some of the world’s best wrestlers and MMA fighters, such as now retired Khabib Nurmagomedov, 33.
According to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan, those involved decided not to go to the police and to settle the matter themselves.
However, upon receiving the footage, the authorities have now opened a criminal case, and police are now working to confirm the identities of the two men involved.
Both stand accused of violating public order.