MMA has a dark side that most fans refuse to acknowledge or are happily ignorant about. None more vile than the sports ties to Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic Or according to who you ask, it’s dictator. Recently UFC’s newest Megastar, Khamzat Chimaev was married under the graces of Kadyrov in his home country of Chechnya.
From Dana White’s early troubles with the Boston Mafia, to PRIDE’s open connection to the Yakuza, the sport has never seen a much more brutal association than that of Kadyrov. The former Militia leader was named the Head of The Republic to act as a puppet for Russia’s Vladimir Putin in 2007 and has since been accused of grave human rights abuses and living large while his subjects suffer under his rule.
Kadyrov has a weird infatuation with MMA where he funds the careers of many fighters from the caucuses region. From Khabib Nurmagomedov to Khamzat Chimaev everyone has been spotted with the dictator often mentioning him as a cause for their success.
While these fighters can be excused assuming they have family that could be under threat if they were to refuse to associate with Kadyrov, many US based fighters have also openly met the dictator and visited his personal fight club notable examples being Former Champions Frankie Edgar, Frank Mir and Fabricio Verdum. Current Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman had previously visited the country even sparring against Kadyrov’s son.
Khamzat Chimaev ties the knot in a ceremony sponsored by Ramzan Kadyrov, the dictator of Chechnya
On Saturday UFC’s newest star Khamzat Chimaev was married in Chechnya with the whole affair being sponsored by Kadyrov himself. The wedding featured all kinds of luxuries ranging from a police motorcade to a Rolls Royce each for the bride and groom with the event being covered by two choppers flying above. The motorcade for the wedding featured multiple luxury cars along with police vehicles.
The ceremony took place at a seaside venue where Khamzat got married at the age of 28. In a post by Kadyrov on Instagram he said, “My dear brother, Khamzat Chimaev tied himself up with family” calling every new marriage a great moment to rejoice for all Chechens.
Previously the dictator even recalled Khamzat to his home of Chechnya when he was fighting Covid and was contemplating retirement. Kadyrov offered to assist Chimaev with his medical needs and convinced the fighter out of early retirement.
Chimaev, like many fighters from the region, has posted pictures with dictator and these fighters are used by Kadyrov as soft-power tools to solidify his hold on the republic of Chechnya. Despite recent tensions with the conflict in Ukraine and the role of Chechen troops in atrocities committed during the war, the UFC is yet to acknowledge its fighters’ ties to Kadyrov.