Vladimir Putin is a rather divisive figure in the world, as he should be. Vladimir Putin has been attributed as being a real bad ass and patron of the MMA arts, but he’s also known for being the leader of Russia. I’m not sure that anything else needs to be said about that. Apparently Putin was in the audience for Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anthony Ruiz, where Ruiz took such a nasty beating that Putin felt moved to send him money. [source]
Two weeks after returning home, mostly recovered by then, Ruiz’s phone rang. The voice on the other end spoke English, although it was obvious this was an intermediary for a Russian party who could be overheard in the background.
Ruiz was asked about his health.
Did he need anything?
He was fine, he said.
Then he was asked for a SWIFT code-the standard format for transferring money between banks, especially internationally. Ruiz didn’t have a clue. He visited his bank to inquire why anyone would want to know such a thing.
Two days later, after deciding to play along, $50,000 was wired into his account from the Russian Federation.
Understandably, Ruiz freaked out. He checked with his financial institution and was told, indeed, it’s real money and, better yet, his to keep.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he recalled. “Then the next day, boom, another $50,000.”
For all Ruiz knew, a third wire transfer, also to the tune of $50,000, represented the number of times Shlemenko buried him in Sochi.
“The bank was telling me there’s some people who aren’t all that straight doing transfers and stuff like that,” he said. “I also knew it was coming from Putin, and he’s one of the wealthiest persons in the world. So, really, $150,000 ain’t that much to him. That’s what I’m telling myself to justify it. Sure enough, I kept it in there and left it alone. It was real. It really happened.”