The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show highlights a troubling link between the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov sauntered into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s combats. Dressed in beige jeans and a lily-white t-shirt with a matching 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 plotting an homicide– as he made his road to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Set just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his cronies watched the evening’s combats in an entirely new give. Though used to attending mixed martial art occurrences 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+ parties within Chechnya arising in torture and summary executions – his existence in the front sequence of a UFC event spotlights a concerning link between the authoritarian 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 engage sorority, 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 mottoes “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA oppose sorority consists of an MMA promotion and several grooming facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet regimes. The battle team is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and abides the reputation of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Boxers who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly stipends that encompas medical expenses, learn costs, and roam costs. Depending on the level of success achieved, boxers are also gifted with expensive automobiles and other pompous goods.
The Akhmat MMA campaigned society is performed by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel to be one of the most powerful mortals in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly contended in the Chechen campaigns 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 insurance people in charge of his MMA promotion and fighting squad is demonstrated that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and support, 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 noticeable boxers from other MMA organizations and has placed its promotional might and 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 peril an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly released from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC pushes have established relationships with Kadyrov. For pattern, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” batch to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA contended organization. He, very, was gifted an expensive automobile for his services to the dictator, though has since deleted the video of the car from social media.