RIZIN Lightweight Grand Prix winner Tofiq Musayev will be joining the Azerbaijan Armed Forces amid the country’s quickly intensified conflict against Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region this week.
News of Musayev’s enlistment was first reported by Bruno Massami on Monday.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region has been an issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia since 1988. Prior to a ceasefire being signed in 1996, the two countries fought over the land for six years.
Although a ceasefire was signed, incidents over the past two decades have broken the agreement.
The battle between the two countries in the Nagorno-Karabakh region started back up on Sunday after both parties claimed the other caused escalation.
The conflict has had deaths reported, with journalist Umut Uras of Al Jazeera describing the recent few days as “the worst escalation in violence [in the Nagorno-Karabakh region] since 2016.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called “on the sides [Azerbaijan and Armenia] to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay,” per a release by his spokesman on Sunday.
A similar conflict occurred in 2016, where the countries engaged in a battle for four days before a ceasefire was reached. The US Department of State estimated 350 casualties from the four days.
Musayev is best known for his five-fight run in RIZIN from 2018 to 2019. He won RIZIN’s Lightweight Grand Prix last December, defeating both Johnny Case and Patricky Pitbull in one night.
He last appeared at a RIZIN event in February, being a cornerman for fellow Azerbaijani fighter Vugar Kyaramov at RIZIN 21.