Abdul Azim Badakhshi’s story took a very unexpected turn last week. In the buildup to his bout at Matrix Fight Night 13 the Afghan announced that he had spent the past year in prison!

The announcement is sure to raise some eyebrows at the UFC headquarters. Badakhshi signed up for a featherweight tournament and was scheduled to compete on May 27th.

He announced the fight on his Instagram account in April:

Plausible excuse

On May 15th he took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to inform fans that,

“My fight scheduled for the 2nd season of Road to UFC at the end of this month had to be cancelled due to not being able to get my visa approved on time.”

It sounded like a totally plausible excuse. It has subsequently emerged that the reason Badakhshi couldn’t get his visa on time is that he was in prison.

In what will presumably come as a surprise to the UFC matchmaker who booked him, Badakhshi told Indian outlet Sports Star last week that he had actually been in Tihar Jail,

“I had no idea what prison would be like. I thought I would get a cell to myself, but at the start, I had to sleep in a large hall with some 130 other inmates. After a while, I was moved to a much smaller jail cell where there were just two people apart from me.”

Incredible story

Fans would have been shocked to hear Badakhshi had been in prison. The story becomes even more incredible when you discover the reason that the Afghan was deprived of his liberty.

Badakhshi, who is in a long term relationship with Matrix Fight Night founder and matchmaker Krishna Shroff, is alleged to have assaulted Srikant Sekhar at one of the promotion’s event. A mass brawl took place at MFN 9 and afterwards Afghan fighters were banned.

According to Sports Star the victim made a formal complaint and as a result Badakhshi was imprisoned. This is where the story gets really wild. Sports Star state that the victim withdrew his complaint in June and Badakhshi was immediately released.

You would think that having put the Matrix Fight Night matchmaker’s boyfriend behind bars might have harmed Sekhar’s relationship with the promotion. But while Badakshi was supposedly languishing in Tihar Jail his victim was getting paid to compete at Matrix Fight Night 11 in March.

Sekhar was booked to face John Mitchell in a bout which the Indian lost.


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Rehabilitation complete

It was a very difficult fight on paper for Sekhar and that is exactly how it played out inside the cage with the Irishman claiming a first round stoppage win. It still seems surprising that Krishna Shroff would book someone to compete on card who happened to be keeping her boyfriend behind bars.

According to Sports Star it wasn’t until June that Sekhar decided to drop his complaint. The article doesn’t acknowledge the relationship between Badakhshi and Krishna Shroff at all but does carry a quote from her proclaiming simply that,

“He is one of the best fighters in his weight category in Asia.”

It is clear that in the eyes of the promotion’s management Badakhshi’s rehabilitation is complete. He could be set to challenge for the featherweight title after winning at Matrix Fight Night 13 last weekend.

It seems incredible that Badakhshi would have been allowed to spend a year in prison because Matrix Fight Night couldn’t get one of its fighter to drop a complaint. Or that he would be able to book a fight at Road to UFC 2 while he was incarcerated.

According to multiple media sources in India and Afghanistan this is exactly what happened. With a 14-3 record Abdul Azim Badakhshi looks a solid prospect but with prison stints and celebrity girlfriends his personal life sounds even more incredible than his competitive career.