The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show foreground a troubling is connected with the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov marched into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s engages. Dressed in beige jeans and a grey t-shirt with a according case, the notorious Chechen strongman was surrounded by three of his most loyal collaborators– one of whom has been accused of torture and another of scheming an homicide– as he made his mode to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Seated just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his cronies watched the evening’s opposes in an entirely new install. Though used to attending mixed martial art contests on a near-weekly basis in his native Chechnya, this was the first time that Kadyrov was present at a Ultimate Fighting Championship show.
Given Kadyrov’s well-documented human rights abuses- the most recent of which includes a deadly crackdown on LGBTQ+ people within Chechnya arising in torture and summary executions – his presence in the front row of a UFC event foregrounds a concerning is connected with the oppressor and the world’s largest MMA promotion.
Kadyrov’s decision to attend the UFC’s first ever show in Moscow is due to the presence of Magomed Ankhalaev, a UFC light heavyweight expectation from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s push squad, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev overcame Marcin Prachnio by head-kick knockout in the opening round. During his post-fight interview in the octagon, Ankalaev thanked Kadyrov for his support and finished off with Kadyrov’s now-infamous slogans “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA contend association consists of an MMA promotion and various practice facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet nations. The fight club is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and makes the epithet of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official listing are paid monthly allowances that embrace medical expenses, discipline overheads, and excursion costs. Depending on the level of success achieved, boxers are also gifted with expensive cars and other gaudy goods.
The Akhmat MMA fight squad is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel to be one of the stronger mortals in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov once engaged in the Chechen conflicts against Russia alongside Kadyrov himself, before being promoted to commander of the Chechnya’s Special Forces, the’ Terek’ Chechen SWAT unit, as well as Kadyrov’s private security detail. Kadyrov’s decision to place one of his most influential defence figures in charge of his MMA promotion and campaign fraternity is demonstrated that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and foundation, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of greater MMA training facilities and advertisements within the Russian Federation. The fighting guild has signed various noticeable soldiers from other MMA organizations and has residence its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these fightings have moved on to sign with the UFC: Magomed Bibulatov, Abdul-Kerim Edilov, Ruslan Magomedov, Said Nurmagomedov, and Magomed Ankalaev. Four of those boxers remain under contract with the UFC, despite the undeniable link between them and Kadyrov, while Edilov- who reportedly menaced an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly exhausted from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC contends have established relationships with Kadyrov. For example, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” treat to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA pushed association. He, more, was gifted an expensive gondola for his services to the oppressor, though has since deleted the video of the car from social media.