MOSCOW, August 14 - RAPSI. The case against undefeated featherweight Mixed Martial Arts champion Rasul "Black Tiger" Mirzayev on charges of having negligently caused the death of 19-year-old student Ivan Agafonov will be reviewed with additional testimonies and cross-examinations of various experts, the judge announced on Tuesday in what was supposed to have been the fighter's sentencing hearing.
Mirzayev was initially charged with intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm resulting in the death of the victim under Article 111 of the Russian Criminal Code. The prosecutor amended her complaint on the last day of trial, however, to charge the defendant instead with having negligently caused the death of the victim, under Article 109 of the Code. In amending her complaint, the prosecutor noted that Mirzayev had done all that he could to help the victim after the fact, and that direct cause could not be established between the blow delivered by Mirzayev and Agafonov's actual death. During the same hearing, she requested that Mirzayev be sentenced to two years in prison, including time served.
The incident at issue occurred in the early hours of August 13, 2011. According to witnesses that testified for both sides at trial, Ivan Agafonov had been drinking and was standing outside of the nightclub. Around 3am, Mirzayev exited the club with his girlfriend Alla. Agafonov approached the couple with a toy car, and allegedly made a comment about picking up prostitutes, with reference to Alla. Words were exchanged between the two men, and ultimately Mirzayev hit Agafonov in the face. Agafonov, who was 23 centimeters taller and 23 kilos heavier than Mirzayev, dropped to the ground. Shortly thereafter, Agafonovs friends brought the then-relatively-coherent young man to a local hospital, where he slipped into a coma and passed away.
Upon learning of Agafonov's death on August 19, 2011, Mirzayev turned himself into the police, admitting that he had struck Agafonov prior to his death. Mirzayev was immediately taken into custody, where he remained during the course of the investigation, which lasted nearly a year. Throughout the course of the proceedings, Mirzayev maintained that he had acted in self-defense, and that he had not intended to cause the death of the young victim.
Prior to his arrest, Mirzayev had been widely regarded as a promising up and coming MMA fighter. He was undefeated in the ring and two of his five victories were won by knockout punches. On August 16, 2011-directly between the incident and his arrest-Mirzayev made headlines throughout the MMA world for having signed a professional multi-fight contract with sponsor Bellator Fighting Championships.