The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show highlights a disturbing link between the Chechen strongman and the MMA promotion
On Saturday 15 September, Ramzan Kadyrov marched into Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium to watch the evening’s crusades. Dressed in beige jeans and a white t-shirt with a pairing 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 scheming an homicide– as he made his acces to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Set merely a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his friends watched the evening’s combats in an entirely new give. Though used to attending mixed martial arts 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+ people within Chechnya ensuing in torture and summary executions – his spirit in the front sequence of a UFC event highlights a concerning is connected with 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 battle guild, Akhmat MMA. That night, Ankalaev overcame 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 slogans “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA engage sorority consists of an MMA promotion and various exercise facilities throughout Chechnya and various other post-Soviet territories. The battle squad is sponsored by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and assumes the refer of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly allowances that treat medical overheads, learn expenses, and roam costs. Depending on the level of success achieved, fighters are also gifted with expensive autoes and other gaudy goods.
The Akhmat MMA crusaded golf-club is operated by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel to be one of the most powerful beings in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly crusaded in the Chechen crusades 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 protection chassis in charge of his MMA promotion and push fraternity is demonstrated that the Akhmat fight club is likely an extension of Kadyrov’s own government.
Through Kadyrov’s patronage and assist, the Akhmat fight club has risen to become one of the largest MMA training facilities and publicities within the Russian Federation. The crusade society has signed various notable soldiers from other MMA organizations and has situated 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 fighters 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 contends 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 engaged team. He, very, was gifted an expensive car for his services to the authoritarian, though has now been deleted the video of the car from social media.