The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front row 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 campaigns. Garmented in beige jeans and a grey t-shirt with a parallelling coat, the notorious Chechen strongman was surrounded by three of his most loyal collaborators– one of whom has been accused of torture and another of storying an assassination– as he made his mode to the front sequence of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Sat just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his friends watched the evening’s combats in an entirely new adjust. Though used to attending motley martial art events 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 latest of which includes a deadly crackdown on LGBTQ+ people within Chechnya arising in torture and summary executions – his proximity in the front sequence of a UFC event spotlights a concerning is connected with the dictator 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 potential from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s fight sorority, 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 slogan “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA contend sorority consists of an MMA promotion and various civilize facilities throughout Chechnya and many other post-Soviet governments. The contend fraternity is be supported by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and carries the identify of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly stipends that extend medical expenses, develop costs, and trip fees. Depending on high levels of success achieved, boxers are also gifted with expensive cars and other gaudy goods.
The Akhmat MMA contended fraternity is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel considered to be one of the stronger people in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly contended in the Chechen crusades 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 protection anatomies in charge of his MMA promotion and crusade guild suggests that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and reinforcement, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and promotions within the Russian Federation. The fighting society has signed several conspicuous boxers from other MMA organizations and has residence its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these crusades have moved on to sign with the UFC: Magomed Bibulatov, Abdul-Kerim Edilov, Ruslan Magomedov, Said Nurmagomedov, and Magomed Ankalaev. Four of those fighters 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 released from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC pushes have established relationships with Kadyrov. For illustration, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” treat to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA contended organization. He, extremely, was gifted an expensive vehicle for his services to the oppressor, though has since deleted the video of the car from social media.