Absolute Championship Akhmat President Alexey Yatsenko has set the dates for the first two events of his promotion in the new year.
ACA 117 will take place on Feb. 12 and ACA 118 will take place on Feb. 26. Despite facing heavy sanctions from the United States Department of the Treasury, ACA is picking up the pace: nine events are planned for the first half of 2021 alone — ACA held 13 events during the entirety of 2020.
In December, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed sanctions on Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadryov “for serious human rights abuses,” including kidnapping, torture and killing of those in the LGBTI community as well as journalists and political activists. As a result, ACA, which is owned by Kadryov, is blocked from doing business with anyone in the United States. “OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. person or within (or transiting) the United States that involve the property or interests in property,” read a statement from the organization. In short, American fighters will not be allowed to compete for ACA in future events.
ACA 117 will be headlined by a welterweight clash between Russia’s Ali Bagov and Brazil’s Elias Silverio, while ACA 118 features a title bout between reigning welterweight champion Murad Abdulaev and Abubakar Vagayev.
Due to quarantine restrictions, all nine upcoming events will be held in Russia. However, the exact location is still unknown. According to Yatsenko, negotiations are underway with various venues. It is also not yet known whether spectators will be admitted to these events.
Bagov had a seven-bout winning streak halted in a five-round decision defeat to Abdulaev at ACA 110 this past September. Silverio, a five-time UFC veteran, was victorious in his first three ACA appearances before dropping a decision to Gadzhimurad Khiramagomedov on Nov. 6.
Abdulaev defeated Vagaev via second-round KO in their first meeting in October 2018, a victory that allowed him to claim the World Fighting Championship Akhmat crown. Vagaev has since won three straight contests under the ACA banner to establish himself as the No. 1 contender for Abdulaev’s 170-pound crown.