Support The Moscow Times!

Brazilian MMA Fighter With Expired Passport Is in Russia Illegally

Diego Brandao Gregory Payan / AP

Diego Brandao, a Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who is set to compete in the title fight of Fight Nights 58, plans to stay in Russia for the upcoming bout even though his passport has expired.

Life News reported that the MMA fighter arrived in Moscow on Jan. 14 and plans to go to Makhachkala in Dagestan to fight his opponent, Murad Machaev, on Jan. 28.

However, Brandao told the fight's organizers that his passport expired on Jan. 15, and that he had no idea what he could do about it. 

"Right now, Diego is in Moscow illegally," Fight Nights President Kamil Gadzhiev told Life News.

"This will continue until Jan. 23, when he will visit his embassy. I hope the Brazilian doesn't get arrested and deported." 

Gadzhiev also said that Brandao may not miss his upcoming fight because he can get a new passport via an expedited process which takes three days.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.