Former Olympic wrestler Khetag Pliev loses finger during MMA fight

Khetag Pliev, the former Olympic freestyle wrestler turned professional MMA fighter, lost a finger during a Cage Fury Fighting Championships fight on Thursday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

Pliev, a four-time national wrestling champion known as ‘The Terminator’ who represented Canada at the 2012 London Olympics, suffered the gruesome injury during the first or second round of a middleweight bout with Devin Goodale in the co-main event of CFFC 94, which was broadcast live on the UFC’s Fight Pass streaming service.

Goodale was declared the winner by second-round technical knockout after referee David Osaghae discovered between rounds that Pliev’s left ring finger was no longer attached to his hand.

The official method of victory according to was ‘Detached Finger’.

“They just made a PA announcement at #CFFC94 that they are trying to locate a fighter’s missing finger,” TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter tweeted. “It evidently fell off into his glove during the bout and is missing somewhere in the venue.”

Khetag Pliev
Khetag Pliev’s left ring finger was torn off during an MMA fight on Thursday night.

Goodale failed to add any clarity to the bizarre situation during a post-fight interview.

“I can’t remember anything, I don’t know,” said Goodale, who improved to a perfect four wins from four as a professional. “I got hit by something big, I don’t remember what happened. I’m just being honest. I don’t remember what happened. I’ll have to watch the tape myself, I don’t remember anything.”

CM Punk, the former WWE star and UFC welterweight who was working as a color commentator for Thursday’s broadcast, was equally mystified in the immediate aftermath.

“I don’t understand exactly what happened,” Punk said. “We’re not going to replay it for you, ladies and gentlemen, but it wasn’t a compound fracture. It wasn’t a dislocation, a break, a laceration. His finger was just gone. It’s gone. It fell off, ripped off.”

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Later Thursday, ESPN confirmed Pliev’s finger was recovered and re-attached by surgeons at a nearby hospital. CFFC president Rob Haydak said the detached digit had been lodged in Pliev’s glove.

The 37-year-old Pliev, who placed 10th in the 96kg weight class at the London Games, fell to 5-2 in mixed martial arts after Thursday’s bout, which was contracted at a catchweight of 180lbs, five pounds below the middleweight division limit.

He also fought six times as a professional boxer in the cruiserweight division from 2017 through 2019, compiling a record of five wins and one loss.



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