The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show highlights a disturbing link between the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov stepped into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s opposes. Dressed in beige jeans and a lily-white t-shirt with a pairing jacket, 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 assassination– as he made his lane to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Seated just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his friends watched the evening’s combats in an entirely new location. Though used to attending mixed martial arts occasions 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 developing in torture and summary executions – his attendance in the front row of a UFC event highlightings 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 oppose guild, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev overcame Marcin Prachnio by head-kick knockout in the opening round. During his post-fight interrogation in the octagon, Ankalaev thanked Kadyrov for his support and finished off with Kadyrov’s now-infamous mottoes “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA battle fraternity consists of an MMA promotion and several train facilities throughout Chechnya and numerous other post-Soviet territories. The engage guild is be supported by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and endures the reputation of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Soldiers who are signed to the fight club’s official listing are paid monthly stipends that embrace medical expenses, grooming expenses, and wander fees. Depending on high levels of success achieved, soldiers are also gifted with expensive gondolas and other ostentatious goods.
The Akhmat MMA pushed society is performed by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel to be one of the most powerful husbands in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov once pushed in the Chechen wars against Russia alongside Kadyrov himself, before being hoisted 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 security representations in charge of his MMA promotion and engage sorority suggests that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and subsidize, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and advertisements within the Russian Federation. The contend golf-club has signed several remarkable soldiers from other MMA organizations and has targeted its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these campaigns 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 warned an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly liberated from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC campaigns have established relationships with Kadyrov. For illustration, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” batch to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA opposed club. He, too, was gifted an expensive auto for his services to the oppressor, though has now been deleted the video of the car from social media.