Ali Bagautinov faced Demetrious Johnson last month in a one sided fight that saw Johnson retain his flyweight strap. After the fight it was discovered that Bagautinov tested positive for EPO, which is a PED that enhances endurance.
Bagautinov spoke with ValeTudo.ru and explained that his teammate Rustam Khabilov’s friend sucker punched him leading up to the fight and how it affected him. The quotes are translated:
ValeTudo.ru: Did the fight between you and Khabilov affect your performance against DJ? There were rumours that you had got a severe injury.
Rustam’s friend punched me and I fell in knock-down. I fell onto the ground and couldn’t come to senses for a half of a munite. It was dirty to punch me from behind all of a sudden. And it surely affected my training process – in three weeks before the fight I didn’t train cause I had to visit hospital and regain my composure.
It also affected me psycologically, it was hard for me to set my mind for DJ bout. Rustam had been my friend for many years, and I just didn’t expect it from him.
ValeTudo.ru: This “Rustam’s friend”, where’s he from and how did he get involved in the fight?
He comes to US from time to time, trains him, helps him with free-style wrestling. When I talked to Rustam, this guy came and started an agression towards me. We had a quick verbal exchange, like “What do you want? Who are you, man?”. And while we were talking with Rustam, he got around me and – I don’t even know how to describe his actions – he got around me and punched me in the back of the head.
Certainly a disturbing twist to the rumors that Bagautinov was injured going into the bout.