The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front row of a UFC show spotlights a troubling is connected with the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov walked into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s crusades. Garmented in beige jeans and a grey t-shirt with a coinciding 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 path to the front sequence of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Set only a few feet away from the enclosure, Kadyrov and his chums watched the evening’s campaigns in an completely new create. Though used to attending mixed martial arts happenings 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+ beings within Chechnya developing in torture and summary executions – his proximity in the front sequence of a UFC event highlightings 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 potential from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s campaign golf-club, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev defeated 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 fight team consists of an MMA promotion and several education facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet governments. The campaign guild is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and accepts the mention of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly stipends that comprise medical overheads, education costs, and circulate fees. Depending on the level of success achieved, boxers are also gifted with expensive gondolas and other ostentatious goods.
The Akhmat MMA crusaded association is carried out by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel considered to be one of the most powerful beings in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly contended in the Chechen battles 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 defence representations in charge of his MMA promotion and engage club is demonstrated that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and assistance, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and publicities within the Russian Federation. The fighting guild has signed various noticeable soldiers from other MMA organizations and has situated its promotional might and 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 menaced an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly exhausted from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC engages have established relationships with Kadyrov. For speciman, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” cope to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA engaged squad. He, too, was gifted an expensive automobile for his services to the dictator, though has previously been deleted the video of the car from social media.