A controversial Russian MP fought a 60-year-old actor in a bizarre caged boxing match in Moscow.
State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov is renowned for his anti-LGBT views and gained notoriety during this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament when he asked for the match between Germany and Hungary – which took place in Munich – to have an over-18 warning because Manuel Neuer wore a rainbow armband to support LGBT+ rights.
Milonov fought a more experienced fighter in Nikita Dzhigurda, a Russian-Ukrainian celebrity, in the strange cage fight. The 47-year-old politician donned blue shorts, a t-shirt and a pair of blue gloves for the fight.
Despite no official result being recorded after the three rounds, Russian MMA star Alexander Emelianenko declared Dzhigurda, 60, the winner.
Milonov was reportedly injured during the bout, but he suggested his performance was simply down to his inexperience.
The bout – where headshots were banned – took place in front of approximately 50 people, and there was allegedly minimal combat during the first two rounds. However, Dzhigurda floored Milonov twice after it was revealed the politician had allowed shots to the head and liver.
Ex-MMA fighter Alexei Prokofiev, who compiled a 14-5-0 record in his career, revealed he had led four training sessions for Milonov.
“There was little training: there were things that distracted him, many other nuances,” Prokofiev said.
“When we were already in the cage, Vitaly discussed with his assistant that he and Dzhigurda would not deliver blows to the head – but the referee came in the ring and said that blows to the head are allowed, and because of this there was an embarrassment and a pause.
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“Milonov was preparing for battle, believing that it was agreed with the other side that there were no blows to the head. Therefore, Nikita was only informed before the fight that it would be without blows to the head.
"I think that this should not be so: spectators and athletes suffer, and this does not even look like a freak fight.”
Prokofiev wondered why Milonov agreed to the fight given his status, age and the fact he has six children – but insisted the politician understood the risks involved.
His quirky opponent Dzhigurda is married to two-time French Olympic champion Marina Anissina, and admitted he had abstained from sex with his wife.
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“Sometimes, once every six months, I can, of course, sublimate energy,” he added. “I am engaged in occult practices, I have a pagan-Vedic altar at home.
“I was the first artist who was shown on the central channels six years ago with Slavic signs, because I went like a negative character and they allowed it.”
The 60-year-old confirmed he is aiming to fight veteran powerhouse Emelianenko.
“When a person looks at you in the third round with a pleading look, I understand that he is a deputy, not a fighter,” Dzhigurda acknowledged. “So this is a warm-up to show Sasha Emelianenko [what I can do]. I need to get paid for it, like all fights.
“Then I will gain 95 kilograms, I will go to the gym, not in MMA [gear], but in boxing gloves, because I'm not used to them.
“[I will] show that I'm not afraid of Sasha. He's a great fighter, of course. Muhammad Ali is my [most] beloved [fighter]. When I, as an artist, enter the role, I enter the role for six months, gain weight… and I can do it.”
While his opponent took to social media multiple times to promote the fight, Milonov opted to focus on his day job.
However, the politician told Gazeta his approach to the rematch will be different: “There will be a rematch – I just need to learn to at least somehow do this business [of fighting].
“I’ll prepare for a year, so I’ll beat him.”
The controversial Milonov was warned by the Human Rights Council in August after calling for gay people to be ‘ sterilised ’ and kept in ‘ shelters’.
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