Bulgarian heavyweight Blagoi Ivanov has recovered from the serious stab wound that hospitalized him in February and is no longer fighting for his life.
Sherdog.com confirmed with a source close to the fighter that the 2008 world combat sambo champion was recently released from Pirogov Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria and hopes to one day return to competition.
Ivanov (pictured: right) was reportedly stabbed while attending an after party at Graf Ignatiev restaurant with two friends on Feb. 26. A group of eight armed men then allegedly attacked Ivanov’s party, stabbing the heavyweight under the armpit and reportedly penetrating his heart.
The fighter was rushed to the hospital, at which point it was unclear if he would survive. According to Sherdog’s source, Ivanov recently made great strides over the course of a 10-day span, in which the fighter made a “miraculous recovery” prior to being released by the hospital.
Ivanov, 25, has yet to taste defeat as a professional mixed martial artist. The Bulgarian rose to prominence by defeating former top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in the 2008 World Sambo Championships en route to capturing the gold. Ivanov joined Bellator in 2011, knocking out William Penn at Bellator 38 before submitting Zak Jensen in the Season 5 heavyweight tournament quarterfinals with a guillotine choke this past October.
Ivanov would not advance in the tournament, however, withdrawing from the bracket with an injury. He returned to competition on Dec. 24, earning a technical knockout over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez in his last in-cage appearance to date.