The Russian heavyweight Grigory Ponomarev suffered a nasty leg injury at the start of his match against Mukhumat Vakhaev on ACA 161.
An explosive throw from Vakhaev resulted in a nasty injury for Ponomarev. The brutal leg break caused the Russian to immediately start screaming in pain, but that didn’t stop Vakhaev from delivering a couple more punches before the referee could stop the bout. Watch the video of the finish in slow-motion below. Sensitive readers be warned.
I’m warning you now. This is a horrible, potential career ending injury.
Grigoriy Ponomarev destroys his leg/knee/everything at ACA 161. Wait for the replay pic.twitter.com/JTN4oAdrYH
— caposa (@Recorder_Hitman) August 11, 2023
Vakhaev’s victory celebration included, among other things, a backflip, and that, in conjunction with the extra punches towards the end of the match and the seriousness of the opponent’s injury, caused several fans to react negatively. After it was discovered what kind of ideological leaning Ponomarev has, however, few had much sympathy left for him. On Ponomarev’s left arm, you can see several tattoos of symbols that are now associated with its use by neo-Nazis.
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The runes Sonnenrad (representing a black sun) and Tyr (the honorific of the Schutzstaffel, named after the Old Norse god) are common symbols among members of far-right groups. That Ponoramev has chosen to tattoo them on his body is probably not a coincidence.
The guy who got his leg destroyed in ACA has multiple very obvious neo-Nazi tattoos.
Here you can see a Sonnenrad and a Tyr rune, both very common neo-Nazi/far-right symbols, especially in the white supremacist MMA scene. You can also see that his leg is backwards (lol, lmao). pic.twitter.com/StwrO18CC0
— Atticus Crow (@AtticusCCrow) August 11, 2023
Ponomarev originates from Kemorovo, a region of Russia notorious for harboring several White Power groups. Far-right ideologies are far from uncommon within the Russian martial arts scene. Previous Russian galas have seen, among other things Alexander Emelianenko meet the notorious neo-Nazi Viacheslav Datsik in Moscow. The younger Emelianenko brother lost the bout by knockout just thirteen seconds into the first round.
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