Earlier this year, the future of undefeated Bellator heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov appeared uncertain for the most unfortunate of reasons. However, Sherdog.com is reporting that Ivanov has made a “miraculous recovery” over the past ten days, and has been released from Pirogov Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ivanov will still require treatment, but is determined to eventually fight again.
In February, Blagoi Ivanov was attending the after party of a boxing tournament when a fight broke out. Ivanov attempted to break up the fight when he and two of his friends were attacked by eight men carrying guns and knives. While his friends only suffered minor injuries, Ivanov was stabbed in the armpit, with the blade piercing his heart.
While surgery immediately following the stabbing was successful, Ivanov was placed in a medically-induced coma and remained on life support six weeks after the stabbing. At the time, his physicians did not comment on whether or not they expected him to fully recover from the attack.
Blagoi Ivanov’s 23-year-old assailant is being held indefinitely on charges of attempted murder. His defense team is claiming self-defense, but Ivanov’s friends insist that the attack was unprovoked.
Blagoi Ivanov first appeared on our radar in 2008, when he defeated the seemingly-indestructible (at the time) Fedor Emelianenko in a Sambo match on points (8-5) in the semi-finals of the World Combat Sambo Championships. Ivanov would go on to win the gold medal, and eventually transition to MMA. He racked up a 3-0 record (1 NC) before being signed by Bellator, where he would knock out William Penn in just over two and a half minutes at Bellator 38 and choke out TUF 10 alum Zak Jensen at Bellator 52. His most recent fight was a third round TKO over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez on Christmas Eve, 2011 in Chekhov, Russia.
Doctors expect his recovery to take six months to a year. We’ll keep you up to date on his recovery.