With the merger of the UFC and the WWE, some shady ongoings have been brought to the surface once more.
The UFC‘s parent company known as Endeavor is in the midst of planning a huge merger between the prominent MMA organization and the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Endeavor will be taking a majority stake in the WWE and forming a new entity with both huge combat sports organizations. The agreement is to form an over $21 billion publicly traded company with the two under the umbrella.
With such a huge merger and undertaking the UFC has been brought into the limelight on the global stage. Now some of their darker sides are being brought to light. In a recent article in CNN, the ties that certain UFC fighters hold to Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov have been brought into the limelight once more.
Several UFC fighters have been linked to Ramzan Kadyrov over the last couple of years
Last year it was brought to the attention of the public that a few UFC fighters including Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje, and Henry Cejudo traveled to Russia and took part in a few training exercises with Russian special forces at the University of Gudermes in Chechnya. At the time these movements were flagged by the U.S. government and the U.S. State Department has been keeping a close eye on the situation ever cents.
Khabib chilling with Chechen dictator, Ramzan Kadyrov. This is a man who wants his MMA promotion to face UFC fighters in 'fights to the death', and commands killing squads for homosexuals. Where are all the people who were praising Khabib's humanitarian efforts now? #objectivity pic.twitter.com/FrIcy3OVSP
— Andy Stevenson (@andyste123) November 19, 2018
Former UFC champs Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo, along with Justin Gaethje, are all currently in Chechnya at the invitation of the republic's warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
Here they are testing out guns at a special forces facility in Gudermes. pic.twitter.com/lJIm8kBHRS
— Karim Zidan 🪶 (@ZidanSports) November 25, 2022
Kadyrov has been accused of kidnapping, torturing, and killing LGBTQ people in his home country of Chechnya. In addition to that he supplied troops to the Russian Armed Forces to fight Ukraine in the ongoing war. He has a link to several UFC fighters including come Khamzat Chimaev and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He has attended several UFC events over the past couple of years, and his son regularly trains in MMA with Chimaev.
The UFC has not commented on these relationships directly. They were adamant that the UFC has no relationship with this dictator and in turn, can’t really control where fighters train or choose to visit. The UFC has been accused of having a relationship with Kadyrov and knowing that they are doing so much business in Abu Dhabi many feel that this relationship could have facilitated that, however, there is no evidence officially.