(Video) MMA promotion bans star for kicking ring girl’s behind

A highly unusual and unacceptable incident occurred at a recent MMA event hosted by Hardcore Fighting Championship (HFC) in Russia on April 19th. Star fighter Ali Heibati kicked a ring girl on the thigh before his main event bout against Osipyan, apparently trying to hurry her out of the cage.

Ring girls have the job of carrying round number cards and walking around the cage between rounds, providing a visual cue to fighters and fans about the progression of the fight. They are not involved in the actual fighting action.

In the viral video clip, the ring girl can be seen doing her normal duties, circling the cage holding a card when Heibati suddenly kicks her lightly on the thigh as she passes by him. While she was uninjured, the ring girl was understandably upset and approached Heibati to confront him before the referee intervened.

The disturbing act of kicking the ring girl drew widespread criticism from fans on social media, who condemned Heibati’s rude and unacceptable behavior towards the woman who was simply doing her job. Many questioned what possibly could have motivated such an action.


In response, HFC has banned Heibati and fined him, stating that his previous apology was “absolutely insufficient” and that “leaving your hands towards the ladies is the lowest a man can stoop to.” The promotion vowed that the entire fine amount would be paid to the ring girl, named Maria.

Heibati subsequently posted a video apology featuring Maria, saying he disrespected her and women in general due to being “nervous” before the fight, but saying he has “respect for the female sex.”

However, his initial actions and HFC’s strong response suggest more may need to be done to address unacceptable conduct towards women at MMA events.