Musalaev breaks Zapadka’s rib in Moscow MMA clash (VIDEO)
Musalaev's entry into the ring was baffling as it was stunning, with girls dressed in traditional Tatar gowns flanking him from left and right, as the bemused Zapadka looked on.
Indeed, the almost over-the-top presentation was in line with Musalaev's other claim to fame. He is one of the official ambassadors to the 2013 Universiade Games, to be held in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s republic of Tatarstan.
The crowd was in the mood for a good fight, having seen blood hit the canvas in earlier bouts.
But despite such a fantastic match-up, the fight flattered to deceive. The two opponents spent the first minute of the first round tussling it out on the arena floor before Musalaev dispatched a couple of left footed kicks to Zapadka's side.
The menacing Pole grimaced, and after the medics examined him deemed him no longer fight-worthy, due to a broken rib. But it seems that was Russian's game plan all along.
“When my trainer asked: ‘Why are you not taking a towel?’” Musalaev told RT. “I replied: ‘I can't fight two rounds with this guy. He's a really serious opponent. I'll have to break something or I won't get anything out of the fight.”
But the manner in which the fight ended did not put a damper on Musalaev's celebrations, calling out anyone who wished to challenge him.
There were a host of other bouts during the Mixed Martial Arts extravaganza, with fighters from all over the world competing.
The night's entertainment also included an all-female bout. But there was not much to see, as Yana Kunitskaya disposed of her opponent within minutes of the first round.
When asked whether more women should participate, Yana's position was interesting.
“I actually prefer fewer women in the sport,” she said. “I prefer it to be just me among all these men.”
The remaining fights were a contrast of quick victories and slow, tiresome wrestling duels, and although the main event was over before it had really begun, the crowd's approval of the night was resounding.