The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show foreground a disturbing link between the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov went into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s opposes. Dressed in beige jeans and a lily-white t-shirt with a pairing 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 scheming an assassination– as he made his behavior to the front sequence of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Sat just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his chums watched the evening’s fights in a totally new prepare. Though used to attending mixed martial arts 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 ensuing in torture and summary executions – his existence in the front sequence of a UFC event highlights a concerning link between 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 potential from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s push society, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev demolished 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 crusade association consists of an MMA promotion and several schooling facilities throughout Chechnya and many other post-Soviet governments. The campaign squad is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and accepts the identify of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Boxers who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly allowances that cover-up medical expenditures, exercise expenditures, and walk fees. Depending on the level of success achieved, soldiers are also gifted with expensive cars and other obtrusive goods.
The Akhmat MMA pushed team is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel to be one of the stronger servicemen in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly campaigned in the Chechen struggles against Russia alongside Kadyrov himself, before being heightened 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 anatomies in charge of his MMA promotion and fight club suggests that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and aid, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of greater MMA training facilities and advertisings within the Russian Federation. The fight fraternity has signed various remarkable soldiers from other MMA organizations and has situated its promotional might and resources behind them. Five of these battles have moved on to sign with the UFC: Magomed Bibulatov, Abdul-Kerim Edilov, Ruslan Magomedov, Said Nurmagomedov, and Magomed Ankalaev. Four of those soldiers 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 released from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC campaigns have established relationships with Kadyrov. For example, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” transaction to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA campaigned society. He, very, was gifted an expensive auto for his services to the authoritarian, though has now been deleted the video of the car from social media.