Ramzan Kadyrov: Chechnya’s leader televises his tiny sons’ brutal MMA fights

Ramzan Kadyrov: Chechnya's leader televises his tiny sons' brutal MMA fights
Ramzan Kadyrov: Chechnya's leader televises his tiny sons' brutal MMA fights

Ramzan Kadyrov has provoked uproar in Russia after organizing a tournament in which his pre-teen sons fought with other young children in bouts of MMA, the exceptionally violent form of competitive fighting that involves few rules and almost no protective gear.

The event was broadcast on state TV and broadcast from the Chechen capital Grozny. The fight card was comprised mostly of adults, but each of Kadyrov’s three sons, aged 9, 10 and 11, fought too.

And, big surprise here, each of them won. I’m not suggesting that the other kids took a dive, but I’m terrified to imagine what Kadyrov would have done to a kid who dared beat up his progeny on TV.

The exhibition has drawn a lot of criticism, and not just from namby-pamby bloggers banging away on their keyboards. Russian MMA bruiser Fedor Emelianenko called out Kadyrov on Instagram, writing, “What happened at the tournament in Grozny is unacceptable and, moreover, cannot be justified. 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?!”

He called it “incomprehensible” that such a spectacle would be broadcast on state TV and called for all fighters under 21 to wear extra protection in the cage—unlike the adolescent kids getting their brains boxed around for Kadyrov’s amusement.

Jeffrey S. Overstreet

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