The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front row of a UFC show spotlights a disturbing is connected with the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov ambled into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s battles. Garmented in beige jeans and a grey t-shirt with a pairing 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 assassination– as he made his direction to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Sat just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his cronies watched the evening’s opposes in an completely new install. Though used to attending mixed martial art occasions 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 row of a UFC event foregrounds 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 fighting guild, 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 campaign society consists of an MMA promotion and various practise facilities throughout Chechnya and numerous other post-Soviet territories. The engage association is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and tolerates the identify of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Boxers who are signed to the fight club’s official listing are paid monthly allowances that encompas medical overheads, practise payments, and travel fees. Depending on the level of success achieved, soldiers are also gifted with expensive gondolas and other pompous goods.
The Akhmat MMA opposed sorority is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel think that one of the most powerful humen in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov once crusaded in the Chechen wars 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 security figures in charge of his MMA promotion and campaign association suggests that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and approval, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and advertisements within the Russian Federation. The combat sorority has signed various remarkable boxers from other MMA organizations and has situated its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these crusades 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 threatened an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly exhausted from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC pushes 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 crusaded society. He, extremely, was gifted an expensive car for his services to the dictator, though has previously been deleted the video of the car from social media.