UFC Vegas 80: Khusein Askhabov scratched after reported arrest for alleged kidnap, torture, extortion

The UFC has cancelled Khusein Askhabov’s UFC Vegas 80 fight with Daniel Pineda following a report of his arrest in Thailand on kidnap, torture, and extortion charges after allegedly kidnapping an Italian man in Phuket.

The promotion released a statement on Monday, hours after the release of a report by The Phuket News that said the UFC vet and his twin brother were arrested in connection with an alleged home invasion and robbery on Sept. 3 at a villa in the beachside Thai town.

“UFC is aware of the recent arrest and allegations regarding Khusein Askhabov,” stated the UFC’s press release on its website. The organization will continue to gather additional details regarding the incident. UFC will allow the legal process to play out before making any additional statements, however, his scheduled fight on October 7 has been canceled.”

It is unclear at the time of this writing whom Pineda will face at UFC Vegas 80, which takes place Oct. 7 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Askhabov, a native of Kazakhstan, was set to make his second octagon appearance after a debut loss to Jamall Emmers at UFC Vegas 69 in February.

According to Phuket News report, Askhabov’s arrest came after a warrant was issued on Sept. 4 that identified he and his twin brother, Khasan Askhabov, as one of three Kazak nationals accused of carrying out the break-in, during which the alleged thieves robbed the man of items believed to be worth a total of 12 million Thai bhat, or approximately $337,881. Among those alleged items were three luxury watches, an Apple laptop and phone, the alleged victim’s passport and debit card, and others.

The report stated the alleged thieves surprised the Italian man in his sleep and bound and gagged him. Over several hours, they beat him while interrogating him for information; another unknown individual allegedly tipped them off about his valuables and spoke to the alleged thieves during the robbery.

After the alleged thieves left, the man managed to escape to safety; he reportedly suffered bruises and contusions on his body from the beating. The men were reportedly confirmed to have flown from Phuket to Dubai on Sept. 4, the day after the alleged attack.