The UFC promotion reacted rather harshly to the recent trick of middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan, who decided to enter the octagon with the flag of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
This incident took place at the UFC on ESPN + 31 tournament, where in the main duel of the evening, Shahbazyan fought with the veteran of the organization Derek Brunson, who was able to sensationally stop his opponent at the beginning of the third round.
It is worth noting that the UFC leadership not only fined Shahbazyan and his team, but also fired their employee, who allowed the fighter to go out with this flag inside the cage.
“We have received complaints from the embassies of Turkey and Azerbaijan in a number of countries due to the fact that Edmen Shahbazyan entered the octagon with the flag of Artsakh,” Shahbazyan’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan said in an interview with News.am. – “The UFC management fined us, and also fired a UFC employee with 20 years of experience, who was supposed to check the athlete before leaving. I confess, we were wrong, did not pay attention to the clause in the contract. But we do not regret what we did and are ready to be punished. Our guys deserve support for taking such a step. “
The Karabakh conflict between the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia acquired a new acuteness in the late 1980s, when the Council of Deputies of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region appealed to the leadership of the USSR with a request to transfer Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, which led to armed clashes with Azerbaijan, dissatisfied with this decision. In September 1991, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was proclaimed in Stepanakert. At the moment, this republic has not received recognition from the UN member states and is not part of it.