Fresh off a unanimous decision victory at UFC 169 over John Lineker on Saturday, UFC flyweight Ali Bagautinov posted a couple of pictures on his instagram announcing that he had been given the honor of carrying the Olympic flame leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
As a tradition, the Olympic flame was originally ignited in Olympia, Greece—the site of the ancient Olympics, and has made its way all the way to the city of Krasnodar, one of the final destinations before the flame arrived in Sochi on Wednedsay.
Bagautinov, originally from Dagestan, Russia, carried the flame on Tuesday through the city of Krasnodar on its way to Sochi, Russia—the site of the 22nd Winter Games.
Ali Bagautinov posted the following on his instagram:
04.02.2014 г Краснодар эстафета олимпийского огня! С детства Мечтал пронести олимпийский огонь Мечты сбываются в этом я убедился , главное идти упорно к этой мечте!!!
Translated: Krasnodar Olympic torch relay! A childhood dream to carry the Olympic flame Dreams come true in this I was convinced to go hard thing to that dream!
Bagautinov, currently the 5th ranked flyweight in the UFC, also holds a 2012 Gold Medal in world combat sambo, and has been awarded the honor of Master of Sports on International level (Russian honor awarded to top sportsmen) in Combat Sambo, Pankration, Freestyle Wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling, hand-to-hand combat, and Grappling.
The ‘Puncher King’ holds a 13-2 record in MMA and has gone 3-0 in the UFC–with victories over Marcos Vinicius, Tim Elliot, and John Lineker, since debuting in September of 2013. And has positioned himself for a shot at the UFC flyweight championship.
Bagautinov joins another famous Russian mixed martial artist, who carried the Olympic torch earlier in the relay, Fedor Emelianenko.