MMA Fighter Khetag Pliev Loses Left Ring Finger During Match, Has It Surgically Reattached
While injuries are common inside an MMA cage, it isn't every day that fighters lose a body part.
On Thursday night, 37-year-old Russian fighter Khetag Pliev was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to take on Devin Goodale for an event organized by Cage Fury Fighting Championship, according to ESPN. Their match was stopped following the second round after referee David Osaghae noticed Pliev's left ring finger was missing.
"They just made a PA announcement at #CFFC94 that they are trying to locate a fighter's missing finger," Aaron Bronsteter of Canada's The Sports Network tweeted. "It evidently fell off into his glove during the bout and is missing somewhere in the venue."
Footage of officials examining Pliev's hand after the injury shows a small amount of blood in the area of his missing digit. According to ESPN, the severed finger was eventually found inside Pliev's glove.
"In the second round, he caught my glove with one hand and held it," Pliev told the outlet later that night. "I felt my finger snapped. He kept pulling my glove and my finger snapped. We kept fighting. When the second round was finished, I see my [bone] was out in the open."
"I wanted to keep fighting, because I felt like I had this guy. But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight," he added.
On social media, MMA fans tried to pinpoint when the injury happened during the match. In one clip, one Twitter user posted a series of kicks by Goodale where Pliev begins to adjust his left glove in discomfort.
"It was crazy," fight promoter Rob Haydak told ESPN. "He didn't even flinch. He was getting ready to do the [official] decision and I was like, 'Uh, guys, get him out of the cage and go put his finger back on.'"
"It was a surreal moment," Haydak continued.
Pliev was transported to a local emergency room where doctors successfully reattached his severed digit. He says he may need a second procedure.
"I'm doing better," Pliev told MMA Fighting. "I went to the emergency [room] from the fight this morning, had a good doctor named Maggie Wilson and she attached my finger back, sewed it back."
"It was hanging on the skin," he added. "They cut the glove off, put it back and now I'm in the cast."
Pliev posted an update to his Instagram account on Friday showing him next to his doctor.
"My family, friends and fans, From the debts of my heart, you and God are my soul motivation!" he wrote to his followers. "And to me you are all one and the same!!! To the hundreds of you I apologize I'm unable to respond individually but I want to let you know that I am ok. Finger is back in place."
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