Former Olympic wrestler has finger torn off during MMA fight

Jack Baer
·Writer
·3-min read
Canadian Olympic wrestler Khetag Pliev, left, practices with Amir Barafshami at the Team Impact Wrestling Club at Danforth and Broadview. Originally from Russia the 96 kg wrestler was so down and out when he arrived in this country that he slept on park benches in Toronto. April 16, 2012. STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Khetag Pliev was once a champion wrestler. (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The pantheon of gruesome and grotesque MMA injuries just found its Zeus.

Khetag Pliev, a former Olympic wrestler, lost a bout via TKO at a Cage Fury Fighting Championships on Thursday. The bout was called off when Pliev's corner noticed there was something very wrong with its fighter after the second round.

His left ring finger was missing.

Somehow, during the course of the second round of Pliev's fight against Devin Goodale, Pliev's finger had apparently been torn off. This is not an April Fools' joke, a man really lost a finger during a fight. CFFC president Rob Haydak later posted a picture of the damage (extremely obvious warning: the image is graphic and disturbing).

How color commentator C.M. Punk put it:

"It wasn't a compound fracture, a break, it wasn't a dislocation, a break, a laceration. His finger was just gone. It's gone."

Adding to the surreality of the situation is that neither Pliev nor Goodale could seem to remember just how Pliev's finger was separated from his hand. According to The Guardian, Goodale had this to say during his post-fight interview:

“I can’t remember anything, I don’t know,” Goodale said. “I got hit by something big, I don’t remember what happened. I’m just being honest (laughs). I don’t remember what happened. I’ll have to watch the tape myself, I don’t remember anything.”

Oh, and they also apparently had trouble finding the finger.

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Haydak reportedly said the finger was eventually found in Pliev's glove, and you really have to wonder how that wasn't the first place they checked. Internet sleuths later speculated that the finger was broken when Pliev blocked a kick, then snapped back and off while the two grappled. The moment of the apparent break can be seen on video, again with an extremely obvious NSFW warning.

Fortunately, the story has a somewhat happy ending. Pliev was quickly transported to the hospital to have his finger reattached, and he reported to ESPN's Marc Raimondi that the procedure was a success, supplying photographic evidence (just assume every link in this article has an NSFW warning). Apparently Pliev was much more unhappy about the fight being called than, you know, his finger getting kicked off. 

The 37-year-old Pliev began his professional MMA career in 2015, now holding a career record of 5-2. Before that, he was an accomplished freestyle wrestler, winning four Canadian national titles and qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, where he placed 10th in the 96 kg category.

He can now add one more accomplishment to his resume: becoming the first man to ever have the words "TKO (Detached Finger)" on his Sherdog account.

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