MMA Fighter Loses Digit

No joke.

Jim Rome
April 02, 2021 - 11:01 am
MMA Fighter

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I’m going to start this take with a warning. It’s graphic in nature. If you’re at all squeamish, find something else to do for the next five minutes or so.  I’m in the habit of telling you to turn me off; I’m just giving you warning; consider me the smacker general: this next take is graphic in nature if you don’t like graphic takes, sit this one out. Because we’re about to get into some gnarly territory.

With that out of the way, when you think of the toughest athletes in sports history, who do you think of? There’s Jack Youngblood playing with a broken leg. And Pittsburgh penguin Nick Bonino played on a shattered stick as well. Of course the gold standard is Ronnie Lott, who had his finger chopped off back in the day so he could play. 

And now those guys need to make room for another member of the brotherhood. I’m talking about mma fighter Khetag Pliev.

He was fighting Devin Goodale last night, but ended up losing the fight by TKO. And why did he lose the fight? Because he lost his finger.

That’s right, dude lost his finger. Literally. Lost his finger.  Not only had his finger ripped off during the right.  But lost track of it. A legitimate missing digit.   Let me read you the exact sentence from the ESPN COLUMN on the event: “The fight, which was part of an event put on by Cage Fury Fighting Championship and aired on UFC Fight Pass, was stopped when the referee noticed Pliev was missing his left ring finger.”

Notice what that says: the fight was stopped when the REFEREE noticed Pliev was missing his left ring finger. The third man in the cage noticed that the finger was gone, not the guy who was actually missing the finger.

How does that happen? I know your adrenaline is pumping in the cage and you’re focused on just one thing – beating your opponent, but how do you lose a finger and not notice it?

I could see losing YOUR wallet or your phone and not noticing it until later, but a finger? A body part.  A FREAKING APPENDAGE. A thing that is connected to your hand. You lose that and you keep on fighting? You lose that, and you don’t even know you’ve lost that: how the hell does that work?! 

Luckily we’re not on TV so I don’t have to play video of dude losing his finger. And rest assure, if we were on TV today, I wouldn’t be playing it... But if you want to picture it in your mind’s eye, according to The Guardian, here is the call from CM Punk who was working as a color commentator on the broadcast:

“I don’t understand exactly what happened. We’re not going to replay it for you, ladies and gentlemen, but it wasn’t a compound fracture. It wasn’t a dislocation, a break, a laceration. His finger was just gone. It’s gone. It fell off, ripped off.”  In other words, don’t come up in here and try to give me some medical classification here: this isn’t about a dislocation or a laceration: homeboy just got his finger ripped clean off his hand.  Period. Point blank. Dude’s finger isn’t dislocated, it’s gonzo. 

And it gets EVEN better. Because here’s another line from the ESPN COLUMN: “For several minutes, those in the venue were searching for the stray digit. Event promoter Rob Haydak said officials looked all around the cage, and there was even an announcement over the PA system asking people to look for it inside 2300 Arena.”

So the finger goes missing and people are looking all over the cage for it. And then someone jumps on the PA and makes an announcement asking everyone to look for the finger. They deputized everyone and formed a posse to look for the missing digit.

Attention, fight fans, if you are parked a blue Mazda in the parking lot, your lights are on. Also, we have a report of a missing finger. Please look around your seats to see if you find it. Don’t forget to look under your seat and in your popcorn buckets. Thank you.

Reminds me of when I was that NASCAR race and I was coming down the catwalk with the drivers, slapping high fives with the fans and threw my wedding ring about thirty rows deep, and in what I still consider one of the miracles of my life, someone picked it up, as I was still walking down that ramp and they passed it all the way forward to me: it was incredible: I wonder if they did with that dude’s finger: did it fly to back of the arena and did the fans all pass the digit forward to get it back to its rightful owner. And did he try to put it back on the way I did my ring?  Actually, in his case, that’s’ not what happened. 

The promoter said that they eventually discovered that the finger WAS RIPPED OFF HIS HAND BUT was STILL in Pliev’s glove all along.

Talk about a face-palm moment, man is that embarrassing. You get the whole arena looking for your missing finger and then it turns out it was in your glove all along.

It’s always the last place you look.

Haydak told ESPN: "It was a surreal moment. I said, 'Wait a second, where the f--- is his finger?' They were all like, 'I don't know.'"

Wait, which part was surreal? The fact that dude had has finger ripped off his hand in a fight?  OR The part where you said “where the f is his finger?” Or the part where everyone said, I don’t know? Because I’m not sure I can pick which is the most surreal part of all.  I mean, everything about this is insane and surreal. I mean, who has ever asked the question, where the f is his finger?

SO….On the Surreal Scale, I’d give that a ten. But Pliev can only give it a 9. Hey-o!

And let’s talk about Pliev for a moment. Because that dude, incredibly, not only didn’t seem to know he was missing a finger, but when he found out, not only wasn’t fazed by it, but was actually bent that they stopped the fight! Quote: "In the second round, he caught my glove with one hand and held it. I felt my finger snapped. He kept pulling my glove and my finger snapped. We kept fighting. When the second round was finished, I see my [bone] was out in the open. I wanted to keep fighting, because I felt like I had this guy. But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight. "

There are tough quotes and then there is that quote. That is the ultimate tough guy quote. The ultimate hard quote.

“When the second round was finished, I see my [bone] was out in the open. I wanted to keep fighting, because I felt like I had this guy.”

Those last few words are incredible: I felt like I had this guy.

You see me missing a finger and think I’m in trouble? Hell no. I’ve got this guy right where I want him. He thinks he’s got an advantage because he just ripped my finger off, but I own this dude. Yes, he has my finger, but i got this cat’s heart. 

He got my digit, but I’m about to get this DUB.

I know that fighters never think they’re hurt and always want to continue, but this is next level. This really is some going out on your shield… bleep? He’s had a finger ripped off and he’s pleading his case; demanding to continue, quote, “But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight.”

Hate it when that happens. Like the dude was going to somehow hide the fact that his finger got ripped off. Like he’s pissed at the doctor. This nerd sitting cage side stopped the fight. This weenie wouldn’t let me keep fighting. The fight’s going great, and then Doogie Howser MD suddenly jumps in and wants to stop it.  And by the way, how much did that decision cost him?  Because you know he was going to get that best digit removal bonus at the end of the night, that they always give out.

I entered the cage with 20 fingers and toes. I’ve still got 19 of them. That’s 95% of my original count, so what’s your problem, Doctor Nerd MD.

I don’t know brother: you’re uncommon amongst the uncommon: one of the toughest dudes ever; and you felt like you had a job to do: but so does the doc; and I’m pretty sure ten out of ten docs in that situation are going to see you missing a limb and make the same exact call this guy did. Even if you did quote, have the guy.

And that’s not just Pliev talking to the media and making himself look tough. Haydak said the same thing about him. Not only did he want to keep fighting, but even after the fight was called, he wanted to stay in the cage for the ring announcer to read the result.

As Haydak said: "It was crazy. He didn't even flinch. He was getting ready to do the [official] decision and I was like, 'Uh, guys, get him out of the cage and go put his finger back on.'"

Yes, finally, some sanity. Why are you sticking around to hear the ring announcer read the results? They aren’t going to overturn it and suddenly declare you the winner. Get to the hospital and get that finger jammed back on your hand.

Sherdog dot com now lists the fight as a loss for Pliev, with an official description of “TKO (Detached finger).”

Sorry you had to take the L, Pliev, but at least you made history with one of the all-time most grisly fight descriptions ever and one of the absolute toughest performances ever.  You are a bad, bad motherbleeper: and never mind being honored to meet you one day, I’m just honored to even talk about you.

If I’m Devin Goodale, I’m on my hands and knees looking for that digit. When I find it, I’m wearing it around my neck to all the clubs. Now that’s a bad ass look.