Blagoi Ivanov has required a second life-saving surgery to be performed on him in a Bulgarian hospital, but is still in a critical condition and is close to death.
The Bellator FC heavyweight, who gained attention with a 2008 Combat Sambo win over Fedor Emelianenko, was stabbed in the chest in a bar in Sofia, Bulgaria last month.
Eight men entered the bar at around 5am on Sunday February 7th, attacking Ivanov and his companions with bats and knives.
A 23-year-old known criminal named Dampela was arrested earlier this month and has been kept in custody. He has previous convictions for extortion and drug supply.
According to his attorney, he was the subject of extreme provocation from Ivanov, who he blames for starting the fight. But Ivanov’s family say that he was attempting to break up the fight and did not trigger it.
Ivanov remains in an artificially-induced coma and is on a life-support machine in the hospital, where he has been since the incident. He has been unconscious for several weeks as doctors keep him sedated to stabilise his condition.