MMA fighter on the run in Russia after escaping custody

Russian police are hunting an Uzbek amateur MMA fighter after he escaped custody in St. Petersburg following an attack on security officers from the Interior Ministry.

Bunyod Tukhtayev, 28, was detained by members of the Russian Center for Combatting Extremism – known colloquially as ‘Center E’ – earlier this week.

Footage showed Tukhtayev attempting to escape during his arrest as he fled an unmarked car before grappling with two officers on the street. 

He was eventually restrained and taken into custody but did not remain there for long.

According to reports, the morning following his detention Tukhtayev asked to use the toilet and then staged his escape when he returned to a preliminary detention room.

Officials confirmed to Interfax that Tukhtaev was “wanted” after being detained on suspicion of involvement in trading QR codes – which are required in public places across St. Petersburg to verify Covid vaccination status – and fake migration documents.


Tukhtaev is also facing charges of violence towards an official after resisting his initial detention.

Records indicate that Tukhtaev has had at least one amateur MMA contest – losing to fellow Uzbek Dostonbek Dostmurodov at an R3 Fighting Championship event in St. Petersburg earlier this year when he was unable to come out for the second round.  

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