The presence of Ramzan Kadyrov in the front sequence of a UFC show highlights 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 fightings. Garmented in beige jeans and a lily-white t-shirt with a pairing jacket, the notorious Chechen strongman was surrounded by three of his most loyal cronies– one of whom has been accused of torture and another of storying an assassination– as he made his route to the front row of the 35,000 -capacity arena. Seated just a few feet away from the cage, Kadyrov and his chums watched the evening’s fights in an entirely new settled. Though used to attending mixed martial art events 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 resulting in torture and summary executions – his existence in the front sequence of a UFC event spotlights 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 potential from Dagestan who represents Kadyrov through the dictator’s campaign association, 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 slogan “Akhmat Sila”( Akhmat Power ).
Founded in 2015, the Akhmat MMA fighting sorority consists of an MMA promotion and several set facilities throughout Chechnya and many other post-Soviet governments. The campaign squad is be supported by Kadyrov himself through his government’s budget and brings the identify of Kadyrov’s father, Akhmad Kadyrov. Fighters who are signed to the fight club’s official roster are paid monthly allowances that deal medical expenses, train payments, and movement fees. Depending on the level of success achieved, soldiers are also gifted with expensive cars and other extravagant goods.
The Akhmat MMA contended team is performed by Abuzayed Vismuradov, a colonel considered to be one of the most powerful soldiers in Chechnya. Known by his nom de guerre’ Patriot ‘, Vismuradov formerly pushed 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 defence figures in charge of his MMA promotion and engage association suggests 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 greater MMA training facilities and publicities within the Russian Federation. The oppose fraternity has signed various remarkable boxers from other MMA organizations and has residence its promotional might and natural resources behind them. Five of these fights 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 warned an HBO journalist in Chechnya– was reportedly released from his UFC contract in August 2018.
Other UFC fightings have established relationships with Kadyrov. For precedent, in 2015 former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum signed a” lucrative” batch to become an ambassador for Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA contended club. He, too, was gifted an expensive car for his services to the despot, though has since deleted the video of the car from social media.
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