Chechnya Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Makes His Pre-Teen Sons Compete in MMA Tournament on Live Television
Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s “democratically elected” authoritarian dictator, organized a kiddie MMA event starring his three young boys. The event, which took place in the Checehn capital of Grozny on Tuesday and featured young children punching and kicking each other in the head, was broadcast live on state television.
Kadyrov is a huge MMA fan who has his own gym and regularly promotes fights under the “World Fight Championships of Akhmat” banner. According to the BBC, Tuesday’s event featured sons Akhmad, 10, Eli, 9, and Adam, 8. Needless to say, all three of them won.
Kadyrov himself posted video of the fights on his personal Instagram account. The caption boasts, “Little Adam showed that he’s a real Lion!…The opponents had strong fighting spirit and will, but Adam won a confident victory and won the champion’s belt. Congratulations, Adam!”
[Warning: disturbing video]
Дорогие друзья! Очень интересным получился бой между Эли “Пантера” Кадыровым и Даниилом Шалак в показательном поединке младшего дивизиона. Оба претендовали на пояс чемпиона Международного турнира “Grand Prix Akhmat-2016”. Победу одержал и стал обладателем чемпионского пояса Эли “Пантера”. Поздравляем! #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #Спорт
Various officials in Russia have expressed their outrage over the event.
“What happened at the tournament in Grozny is unacceptable and, moreover, cannot be justified,” said MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko, who heads the Russian MMA Union. “There were little ones, eight years old, punching each other in front of happy adults. Is it really so important for you to organize a spectacle at the cost of children’s health?!”
Pavel Kolobkov, Russia’s deputy sports minister, says the event is under investigation. But don’t hold your breath for any sanctions.
Ramzan Kadyrov is a close political and military ally of Vladimir Putin. He has served as Chechnya’s leader since 2007, despite innumerable allegations of corruption, kidnapping, torture, and various other human rights abuses. Sitting right next to Kadyrov while his kids pummeled other kids was Alexander “The Surgeon” Zaldostanov, leader of a nationalist biker gang called the Night Wolves and another ally of Putin.
Sadly, there is very little the Russian Sports Ministry or MMA community can do about this.