Reports: MMA Fighter Arrested for Allegedly Stabbing, Killing Doctor After Vaccination Dispute
Streaming now: Suspect allegedly stabbed doctor in the neck with a bone https://t.co/TbmUSH5ssd— KUAM News (@kuamnews) November 10, 2021
Professional mixed martial artist Akmal Khozhiev was arrested in Guam after an argument over the COVID-19 vaccination turned deadly.
According to multiple reports, 27-year-old Khozhiev was charged with first-degree felony aggravated murder with a deadly weapon and second-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing of Dr. Miran Ribati on Nov. 7 at the Poinciana Apartments in Tamuning, Guam. Bail has been set at $1 million.
“Sir it’s me, I killed him,” Khozhiev allegedly told police prior to his arrest. Ribati was declared dead at the scene.
According to the Guam Daily Post, Khoziev and Ribati, 42, knew each other from a local gym and reportedly returned to Khozhiev’s residence to have dinner after spending the day at the beach. A witness said that the two men began arguing about vaccinations, and Khozhiev was heard telling Ribati, “I don’t trust you anymore.”
Khozhiev then began choking Ribati before a witness intervened. The witness was allegedly hit twice in the head once the choke was released before Khozhiev returned to the kitchen to grab an animal bone from dinner, and he then allegedly proceeded to stab Ribati in the neck repeatedly. Ribati attempted to flee, but Khozhiev then stabbed him multiple times with a knife, a witness told police.
The two men were reportedly friendly from their time at Steel Athletics Gym in Tamuning, where Khozhiev was a trainer and Ribati was a member. Steel Athletics owner J.J. Ambrose, a former Bellator MMA competitor, revealed to Kuam News that Khozhiev was fired from his position a few months ago for threatening customers, including one incident where he shoved an individual to the ground and kicked him before being pulled away.
"He was such a great person up until he wasn't. We did everything we possibly could to warn people that AK wasn't AK anymore,” Ambrose said.
"It's very hard cause I know when you're friends with two people and those two people are on the outs you don't want to take sides, you want to ride in the middle, but in this case AK seriously needed help and that was the problem, that people were not trying to take sides and he seriously needed help this whole time.”
Ribati, 42, was a radiologist at Guam Memorial Hospital for more than three years. While Ambrose kept his distance from Khoziev in recent months, Ribati remained close to the fighter.
"Miran was like the one guy that was supporting him," Ambrose said. "Such a great person, he was a doctor and he was always in the gym working out and taking care of his health and fitness. He was one of those doctors that leads from the front, so to hear about him being the victim it's a shocker."
In a statement released to the Pacific Daily News, Guam Memorial Hospital praised Ribati’s work in the healthcare field.
“His talents were undeniable and impeccable; his passion unparalleled; his accolades from patients in droves,” the statement read. “He will be sorely missed among colleagues, staff and the entire Guam healthcare community.”
Khoziev is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 19. Known as “AK47,” Khoziev notably competed for the M-1 Global organization during his MMA tenure. His Instagram account featured multiple anti-vaccination posts.