Makwan Amirkhani is the UFC’s own international man of mystery.
The Finnish featherweight claims he stopped a pair of robbery suspects earlier this month, knocking out one of them after it appeared Amirkhani’s brother was being stabbed. Two years ago, Amirkhani captured video of himself allegedly stopping a robbery at a coffee shop in Sweden.
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Amirkhani, 28, said he was cooking with family members in early March when his brother’s wife got a call. There was apparently a robbery attempt at a friend’s home and a child was inside hiding in the closet with a knife. When Amirkhani and family members arrived, he said the would-be robbers saw them and attempted to flee.
Amirkhani said his brother got into a scuffle with both men and one appeared to be wielding a knife, so the UFC prospect bolted into action.
“It looked like a knife and I thought they were stabbing my brother,” Amirkhani said. “I was like, ‘I don’t care. They can stab me, too. But I’m gonna help my brother.’”
It didn’t end up being a knife. From the photo Amirkhani posted to Facebook, the man was holding a screwdriver. Amirkhani said it didn’t take much to end the battle — just one punch and the alleged thief was out.
“I was like, he’s gonna die now,” Amirkhani said. “All I needed was one punch and this f*cking guy was lying on the snow. Then it was all over the news.”
Amirkhani said he worried at first that he might be charged by Finnish police due to excessive force, but has not heard anything about the incident since then. Still, he did not regret doing what he did, he said. Amirkhani said his cousin joked it was a “good warm-up for London.”
There is a police report associated with this case and the incident is currently under investigation, Finnish police spokesperson Teemu Äikäs told MMA Fighting via e-mail.
Amirkhani takes on fellow blue-chipper Arnold Allen at UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs. Anderson on Saturday in the English capital. It’ll be the Iraq-born fighter’s first bout in more than a year, since a unanimous decision over Mike Wilkinson in February 2016.
Allen will probably pose more of a threat than the attempted burglar. This time, though, he’ll be fully expecting to get into a fight.
“This is not normal in Finland,” Amirkhani said of the incident. “It’s really safe here and really unusual that sh*t like this happens. But I think it was a bad day in the office for those two guys.”