Russian Emperor (or whatever) Vladimir Putin likes to strut around shirtless and wrestle bears, but he respects a good beating in the MMA ring too. Just ask Anthony Ruiz, a Strikeforce vet who was flown over to Russia to fight Alexander Shlemenko (yes, the Bellator champ) in some local show. Ruiz pretty much got his face rearranged in the bout, and, well, here’s Josh Gross’s story on Bleacher Report:
Putin thought enough of the American’s resilience and courage to offer a standing ovation, kind words and significantly more.
Immediately after the fight, with the tone of one friend telling another they have food stuck between their teeth, the Russian president offered this advice in English.
Said Putin: “You need to fix your nose.”
Inside the ring, minus the fun of charades, Ruiz clasped his nose between his fingers and rearranged tangled cartilage from a chicane to a straightaway. Just one more battle along the way, he thought.
Such is the life of a fighter, right? Wrong. Ruiz flew back home to America, and soon got a phone call. A Russian wanted his bank routing number, and once all the details were worked out, $150,000 was deposited into Ruiz’s account. From Putin. For getting his nose bashed in and taking a beating.
To put things in perspective, Shlemenko, who won the fight, got no such bonus.
How’s that for cool?