Last weekend, UFC champion Islam Makhachev paid a visit to Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, making him the latest UFC champion to be photographed with Kadyrov.
Following his triumphant return to Dagestan last week, the newly crowned UFC lightweight champion paid a special visit to Chechnya, where he posed for a photo with Kadyrov, the tyrant facing U.S. sanctions for well-documented human rights abuses such as forced disappearances, torture, summary executions, and war crimes.
The U.S. Treasury has blacklisted both the Akhmat MMA fight club and the ACA promotion, both of which Makhachev posed with. U.S. Treasury sanctions were imposed on the fight club and its head, Abuzayed Vismuradov, in 2018 for “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The United States government also claimed that he oversaw a program that “illegally detained and tortured individuals on the basis of their actual or perceived LGBTI status.”
Despite popular belief, Makhachev is not the first UFC fighter to pay a visit to Kadyrov. A number of former UFC champions, including Frank Mir, Chris Weidman, Fabricio Werdum, Frankie Edgar, Kamaru Usman, and Khabib Nurmagomedov, have made appearances alongside the Chechen dictator in the past. Kadyrov has been seen at both the inaugural UFC event (held in Moscow, Russia in 2018) and UFC 242 (held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates the following year).
While we haven’t seen Kadyrov at a live UFC event since early 2019, he’s still very much involved with the promotion. At UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, Khamzat Chimaev was photographed with Kadyrov’s adolescent boys. The teens had just returned from an excursion to Mariupol, the occupied Ukrainian port city destroyed by Russian forces, where they participated in propaganda photo ops dressed as soldiers. The three youths were seen on camera firing grenade launchers and assault guns from cover of a dense shrubbery. The teens apparently returned to Chechnya with three Ukrainian POWs, who were afterwards exhibited on Kadyrov’s social media platforms.
Later, Kadyrov shared an image of his son Ali with UFC president Dana White. A screenshot from a video call between UFC star Khamzat Chimaev and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, the two fighters involved in a brawl after UFC 280, was also released on his official Instagram account. Kadyrov stated in the caption that he had calmed the situation down and that the brawl had been over a “misunderstanding.”
“There is no problem between Khamzat Chimaev and Abubakr Nurmagomedov—I have made sure of it personally, and I pass this information on to the ill-wishers,” Kadyrov said on Instagram.
More backstory on Islam Makhachev
Islam Ramazanovich Originally from Russia, Makhachev is now a prominent MMA fighter and former Sambo athlete.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) presently recognizes him as the champion of the Lightweight division. After beginning his competitive career in 2010, Makhachev won the 2016 global combat sambo title at 74 kilos. On October 24, 2022, he moved up to third in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.
As a member of the Lak ethnic group,
Born in Makhachkala, Makhachev spent his childhood in the small town of Burshi (then in the Dagestan ASSR, Soviet Union, now in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia), where he learned the art of combat sambo and went on to compete on a national level.
A gold medal winner at the 2016 World Combat Sambo Championship. His final match score against Bulgaria’s Valentin Benishev was 7-0.
Professional MMA Competing
On February 12, 2011, Makhachev made his M-1 Global debut, defeating Tengiz Khuchua by first-round knockout.
Makhachev fought Mansour Barnaoui on April 9, 2013, at M-1 Challenge 38, in his second bout for the organization. Consensus voting gave him the victory (30–27, 30–27,30–27).
On August 21, 2013, at M-1 Challenge 41, Makhachev competed against Rander Junio, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who had never been defeated. An overwhelming majority of the judges gave him the victory.
On June 7, 2014, at M-1 Challenge 49, Makhachev fought against M-1 Global Yuri Ivlev. Islam was clearly superior; after knocking Ivlev around with punches, he eventually submitted him with an armbar.
Makhachev won a third-round submission over Ivica Truscek on September 7, 2014, in his last M-1 Global contest before signing with the UFC.
Makhachev signed a four-fight contract with the UFC on October 2, 2014.
On May 23, 2015, at UFC 187, he finished the second round with a submission against Leo Kuntz.
At UFC 192, held on October 3, 2015, Makhachev squared off against Adriano Martins.
It was his first professional loss and it happened in the first round when he was knocked out.
On April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19, Makhachev was scheduled to face Drew Dober.
The UFC made the announcement after the weigh-ins that Makhachev had tested positive for the banned anti-ischemic meldonium in an out-of-competition drug screening. In other words, the game is off.
Following a hearing on July 2, 2016, USADA decided to end Makhachev’s suspension.
At UFC Fight Night 94, which took place on September 17, 2016, he met Chris Wade.
By a score of judges’ decisions, he was declared the victor.
At UFC 208, Makhachev met Nik Lentz on February 11, 2017.
Every judge gave him the nod, so he was declared the winner (30–27, 30–25, 30–25).
At UFC Fight Night 115 on September 2, 2017, Makhachev was scheduled to meet Michel Prazeres.
On the other hand, Makhachev withdrew from the bout at the start of August due to religious reasons, and Mads Burnell took his place.
For UFC 220 on January 20, 2018, Makhachev faced off against Gleison Tibau.
He finished the bout in the first round with a knockout in 57 seconds.
At UFC on Fox 30 on July 28, 2018, Makhachev fought Kajan Johnson.
In the first round, Makhachev got Johnson down, worked his way into mount, and secured an armbar, forcing Johnson to tap out and giving him a submission win.
On January 26, 2019 at UFC 233, Makhachev was scheduled to fight Francisco Trinaldo.
On the 11th of November, 2018, however, it was revealed that Makhachev had withdrawn from the tournament for unknown reasons, and that his position had been taken by Alexander Hernandez.
In a bout from UFC on ESPN+ 7 on April 20, 2019, Makhachev met Arman Tsarukyan. By a score of judges’ decisions, he was declared the victor.
Since he won, the Fight of the Night trophy was his to keep.
In the UFC 240 main event on September 7, 2019, Makhachev met Davi Ramos.
By a score of judges’ decisions, he was declared the victor.
Against April 18, 2020, at UFC 248, Makhachev was supposed to take on Alexander Hernandez.
In light of the travel limitations caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, however, Makhachev was replaced by Omar Morales on the card.
On October 24, 2020, at UFC 254, Makhachev was scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos.
On the other hand, dos Anjos was pulled from the fight after testing positive with COVID-19 on October 8, 2020.
The fight between Felder and dos Anjos will go on as planned on November 14, 2020 at UFC Fight Night.
On the other hand, it was reported on November 8 that Makhachev had to withdraw from the tournament because of a staph infection.
On March 6, 2021, at UFC 259, Makhachev fought Drew Dober.
In the third round, he submitted his opponent with an arm triangle choke.
The fight between Makhachev and Thiago Moisés took place at UFC on ESPN 26 on July 17, 2021.
The battle ended in the fourth round when he submitted his opponent with a rear-naked choke.
On October 30, 2021, at UFC 266, a rescheduled matchup with former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos was set to take place.
Injuries prevented dos Anjos from competing, and Dan Hooker took his place.
He submitted his opponent in the first round with a kimura and won the fight.
The bout between Makhachev and Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 202 was originally set for February 26 of that year.
Dariush had originally been scheduled to perform, however on February 12, 2022, news emerged that he had withdrawn due to an ankle injury. Bobby Green took his place.
It took him only a few punches to knock out his opponent in the first round.
On October 22, 2022, at UFC 280, Makhachev competed against Charles Oliveira for the unoccupied UFC Lightweight Championship.
After Makhachev knocked Oliveira out with a punch in the second round, he finished him out with an arm-triangle choke to win the fight and the title.
He earned the nightly Performance of the Night bonus as a result of his success.
Ramzan Kadyrov the Chechen dictator
Born on October 5, 1976, Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is a Russian and Chechen politician who presently serves as Head of the Chechen Republic. Currently a colonel general in the Russian military, he was a part of the Chechen independence struggle in the past.
Kadyrov is the son of Akhmad Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya from 2003 until his death in 2005, when he switched sides in the Second Chechen War and offered his services to Vladimir Putin’s Russian administration. The assassination of Akhmad Kadyrov took place in May of 2004. Shortly after turning 30, the legal age requirement for the presidency, Ramzan Kadyrov succeeded Alu Alkhanov as president in February 2007. He fought tooth and nail with Chechen commanders Sulim Yamadayev (who died in 2009) and Said-Magomed Kakiyev for overall military authority and with Alkhanov for political control. He has been serving as a member of the State Council of the Russian Federation’s Advisory Commission since November 2015.
Despotically, Kadyrov leads the Chechen Republic. Human Rights Watch has called the forced disappearances and torture committed by his regime crimes against humanity, and other foreign groups have voiced similar concerns over the years. While in office, he has pushed for limits on women’s participation in public life and spearheaded anti-gay purges across the Republic. Kadyrov has been accused of using police and military personnel for political purposes, leading to the kidnapping, murder, and torture of human rights advocates, critics, and their loved ones in Chechnya, across Russia, and beyond. He has come out openly to refute the allegations.
Kadyrov has cultivated a macho persona, one in which he routinely appears with guns and military clothing and flaunts his extravagant fortune. During their reign over the Chechen Republic, the Kadyrov family has amassed vast wealth; the Russian Federation provides substantial money to the Chechen government; and the line between the two is often difficult to distinguish.
A native of the Checheno-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (SFSR), Kadyrov was born in Tsentaroy. His parents, Akhmad and Aimani Kadyrov, had two older sons before he was born. Two of his older sisters, Zargan (born 1971) and Zulay (born 1983), as well as an older brother, Zelimkhan (1974-31 May 2004), surround him (born 1972). Kadyrov worked hard to win over his imam father, Akhmad Kadyrov. He believes he was always trying to be like his old man. In the first Chechen War, Akhmad had joined those who called for a jihad against the Russians, but by the second war, he had pledged his allegiance to Russia. The Chechens began their fight for independence in the early 1990s, while the Soviet Union was falling apart.
He fought alongside his father against Russian soldiers in the First Chechen War. Ramzan’s father, Akhmad, became the separatist mufti of Chechnya after the conflict, and Ramzan served as his personal chauffeur and bodyguard.
During the First Chechen War, Akhmad Kadyrov proclaimed jihad against Russia, inspiring the formation of the Kadyrovite force.
When the Second Chechen War broke out in 1999, the Kadyrov family fled to the Russian side. Since then, Kadyrov has been in charge of the Chechen Presidential Security Service and has led his militia with the help of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which has provided him with service ID cards and other support. Kadyrovites is what the militia eventually became known as