After a draw in the main event of UFC 282 that saw Ramzan Kadyrov fighter Magomed Ankalaev refuse the UFC championship, the Chechen dictator called out the organization and its figurehead.
In a rare English-language social media post on Sunday, Kadyrov took aim at UFC President Dana White and blamed “dirty politics” and “dirty” as reasons for not awarding Ankalaev the vacant title.
“Dana White, what happened to you?” Kadyrov wrote to his nearly 3 million followers via telegrams. “I was an ordinary guy, with principles, and today I took the championship belt out of the ring without handing it over to the obvious winner. Or did I get into politics in the UFC ring and tell you to run dirty? It’s a sport, Dana. Be honest. »
Kadyrov’s statement refers to the main event of UFC 282, which saw Ankalaev challenge Jan Blachowicz for the recently vacated lightweight title.
Originally slated to be the co-main event of the evening, the fight was highlighted during UFC’s final pay-per-view event of the year after champion Jiri Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury during training camp and elected to vacate his title.
While the surprising development landed Ankalaev his first title on the world’s premier MMA show, it was also the latest example of the warlord’s growing influence within the UFC.
Ankalayev is one of the few UFC fighters currently affiliated with Kadyrov, the powerful leader of Chechnya who is regularly accused of masterminding human rights abuses including assassinations, kidnappings, torture, extrajudicial executions and targeted purges of the LGBT community.
Their relationship dates back to 2016, when Ankalayev first joined Kadyrov’s Akhmat Fight Club, a state-sponsored mixed martial arts gym founded by Kadyrov himself. Since then, the Dagestan-born fighter has continued to represent Kadyrov during competition, including throughout his stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ankalayev continued to maintain relations with Kadyrov even though the US Treasury Department prohibited US citizens or persons in the United States from doing business with Kadyrov. At the time, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control cited “extrajudicial executions, torture, or other serious abuses” among the reasons for sanctioning Kadyrov. The US Treasury Department also issued sanctions in 2020 against several of Kadyrov’s businesses, including Akhmed’s mixed martial arts.
Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov has called out UFC President Dana White after a draw in the main event of UFC 282.
The result saw Kadyrov’s fighter (Ankalaev) denied the UFC title, which the dictator blamed on ‘politics’ before telling the UFC to change the outcome. pic.twitter.com/zN3LMvXgI7
– Karim Zidane (Zidane Sports) December 11, 2022
Given that Ankalaev could have been Kadyrov’s first national champion in the UFC, the dictator is now asking the UFC to reverse its decision and crown Ankalaev as champion.
Take Maybek Khasiev (ACA League) who doesn’t stop anything [judging] He is very boring and he is known for canceling refereeing decisions, Kadyrov wrote, referring to the founder of the absolute championship Akhmat, because of which the ACA fighters were disqualified.
“Hey, Dana White, are you going? Save your league face. Admit your mistake, give the belt to the real winner and apologize for the show. Save your league’s reputation.”