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‘Shara Bullet’ Details Run-in with Saudi Arabian Police During Prior Visit



Sharabutdin “Shara Bullet” Magomedov (12-0) had an interesting encounter with local law enforcement on a previous visit to Saudi Arabia.

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Magomedov is slated to face Brazilian debutant Antonio Trocoli (12-3) at UFC on ABC 6 on June 22 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. However, this isn’t Magomedov’s first visit to the region, where he has achieved surprising popularity. The Russian has previously been to the country for Hajj, which is the annual Islamic pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. While Magomedov hasn’t been out of the fighter hotel much this time, he was overwhelmed by fan support the one time he journeyed beyond.

“Yes, I’m surprised that people recognize me here like they do in Russia,” Magomedov told Red Corner MMA. “People ask to take pictures in the most unusual places. It’s nice. We’ll be taking over the whole Arabian peninsula. People know me in Saudi and the UAE. We’re conquering more shores. There’s nowhere to run from this fame… When I went to the center once, there was a 100m stretch where everyone was honking and filming me. They were saying, ‘Inshallah, you win, you win, you win.’ It was nice, but I haven’t been outside since.”

Magomedov had a run-in with the police during his last visit to Saudi Arabia in November 2023, after a unanimous decision win over Bruno Silva in his UFC debut in Abu Dhabi weeks prior. “Bullet” often covered his face while walking on the streets for the pilgrimage, despite which a British fan recognized him. However, UFC middleweight prospect’s covered face got security suspicious at the pilgrimage site and he was taken to the police station. However, it all ended humorously as the police let Magomedov go after taking pictures, likely having recognized him.

“During the pilgrimage, you have to follow rituals and go out on the street,” Magomedov said. “Sometimes I had to cover my face with a scarf. An English guy recognized me. It was funny because there was no way he could have… Men can’t cover their faces at holy sites. Security got suspicious; they stopped me, asked me something and took me to the station. At the station everyone took pictures with me and let me go. It was interesting.”

“Bullet” saw two opponent changes for his sophomore promotional outing this weekend. Magomedov was originally booked against Ihor Potieria, who took a short-notice booking against Michel Periera at UFC 301. Pereira was replaced by Karate Combat star and 47-fight veteran Joilton Lutterbach, who Magomedov even came across at the fighter hotel in Saudi Arabia. However, Lutterbach was forced out due to a failed drug test and replaced by fellow debutant Trocoli on three days’ notice. Cutting weight was no issue for Trocoli as he was originally scheduled to fight Ikram Aliskerov last weekend before the Dagestani stepped up to replace Khamzat Chimaev against Robert Whittaker in Saturday’s main event.
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