Blagoi Ivanov has regained consciousness a week after suffering a near-fatal stab wound in the chest during a bar brawl.
Last Sunday, at around 5am, Ivanov was with two friends at a bar in the downtown area of the Bulgarian capital Sofia when eight armed men burst in and attacked them with bats and knives.
Ivanov suffered a knife wound under the armpit which came near to his heart and caused some lung damage. He has been in a coma since.
Today doctor’s upgraded his condition from critical to stable and revealed that he was now awake, although it was not clear whether the coma had been natural or had been artificially prolonged to aid his stabilisation and recovery.
A known criminal was arrested last week in connection with the stabbing and he has been charged with attempted premeditated murder. The suspect, who has convictions for extortion and drug supply, will be remanded in custody until a trial can get underway.
Ivanov first came to the attention of the MMA world when he defeated Fedor Emelianenko in a 2008 Sambo tournament. He was signed by Japanese promotion Sengoku and then went to Bellator. His professional record stands at 6-1.