The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show spotlights a troubling link between the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov moved into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s engages. Dressed in beige jeans and a white t-shirt with a matching coat, the notorious Chechen strongman was surrounded by three of his most loyal bodyguards– one of whom has been accused of torture and another of planning an assassination– as he made his route to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Set just a few feet away from the enclosure, Kadyrov and his cronies watched the evening’s pushes in a totally new train. Though used to attending motley martial arts happens 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+ beings within Chechnya ensuing in torture and summary executions – his attendance in the front row of a UFC event highlights a concerning is connected with the despot 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 promise from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s fighting association, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev demolished 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 slogan “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA campaign club consists of an MMA promotion and various improve facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet nations. The oppose organization is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and abides the refer of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly stipends that plow medical expenditures, develop expenses, and expedition fees. Depending on high levels of success achieved, soldiers are also gifted with expensive automobiles and other gaudy goods.
The Akhmat MMA fight club is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel considered to be one of the most powerful mortals in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly engaged in the Chechen conflicts against Russia alongside Kadyrov himself, before being elevated 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 digits in charge of his MMA promotion and campaign team is demonstrated that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and supporting, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and promotions within the Russian Federation. The battle sorority has signed several conspicuous fighters from other MMA organizations and has residence its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these pushes 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 fights have established relationships with Kadyrov. For lesson, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” cope to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA pushed organization. He, too, was gifted an expensive car for his services to the oppressor, though has now been deleted the video of the car from social media.