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Chechen MMA fighter assassinated in a case of mistaken identity

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A hitman targeting an Armenian businessman mistakenly kills his driver, a former Chechen MMA fighter, instead. 

On October 16, a body with several fatal gunshot wounds was discovered beside a blue Infiniti vehicle inside a parking lot in central Moscow. Due to the car’s license plate, initial reports claimed the victim was Armenian businessman Gregory Agapjanov. However, it was later revealed that the assassinated man was actually the entrepreneur’s driver, a Chechen man who also dabbled in mixed martial arts competitions.

The murder was captured on security cameras inside the parking lot. The footage showed a hooded man walk up to the unsuspecting victim and fire several point blank shots into the Chechen man’s face. The attacker fled immediately, while the former fighter died from his wounds at the scene of the crime.

According to reports, the victim was identified as Lechi Serbiev, a 33-year-old MMA fighter who fought in the heavyweight division. He holds a 2-2 record and most recently fought for Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) in 2014, where he was knocked out by Alexander Stolyarov.

Serbiev also dabbled in powerlifting tournaments, including the powerlifting World Cup, as well as various other tournaments in Sochi.

While the motive behind the murder remains unclear, reports suggest that the assassin’s actual target was the 38-year-old businessman, and not the driver. A criminal case has been initiated for murder and illegal arms trafficking.

“Currently, a complex set of investigative actions and operational search activities is being carried out, aimed at establishing all the circumstances of the crime committed and those involved in its commission. The investigation of the criminal case continues,” said Julia Ivanova, senior assistant to the head of the Russian Civil Code of the Russian Federation for the City of Moscow.

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