The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence 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 pushes. Garmented in beige jeans and a grey t-shirt with a matching jacket, the notorious Chechen strongman was surrounded by three of his most loyal henchmen– one of whom has been accused of torture and another of scheming an homicide– as he made his behavior to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Set only a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his friends watched the evening’s combats in a totally new establish. Though used to attending mixed martial art affairs 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+ parties within Chechnya developing in torture and summary executions – his presence in the front row of a UFC event highlights a concerning link between 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 combat organization, 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 slogans “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA contend team consists of an MMA promotion and several course facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet governments. The oppose guild organised by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and allows the call of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Soldiers who are signed to the fight club’s official listing are paid monthly allowances that encompas medical overheads, improve expenditures, and movement fees. Depending on the different levels of success attained, soldiers are also gifted with expensive automobiles and other extravagant goods.
The Akhmat MMA contended fraternity is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel considered to be one of the stronger humen in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov once contended in the Chechen wars 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 insurance people in charge of his MMA promotion and fight organization suggests that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and help, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and publicities within the Russian Federation. The fight sorority has signed various conspicuous soldiers from other MMA organizations and has residence its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these combats 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 peril an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly liberated from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC crusades have established relationships with Kadyrov. For example, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” spate to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA opposed club. He, too, was gifted an expensive vehicle for his services to the despot, though has since deleted the video of the car from social media.