Ahead of his 40th birthday, Chechen strongman and de facto ruler Ramzan Kadyrov hosted a mixed martial arts event with a series of Grand Prix tournament finals.The event also featured the MMA debuts of his three sons, the oldest of which is 11.
In the immediate aftermath of the tournament, which showcased Kadyrov’s oldest princeling knock out a terrified opponent, Russian media outlets reported the incident with a tone of confused disgust. The news prompted popular figures like Fedor Emelianenko, legendary Russian heavyweight and president of the Russian MMA Union, to condemn the seemingly illegal activity. In a social media post, Fedor explained that “what happened in Grozny is unacceptable & cannot be justified.”
This prompted a torrent of abusive responses from the members of the Akhmat Fight Club, including WSOF flyweight champion Magmoed Bibulatov and notorious State Duma member Adam Delimkhanov. Even UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov took aim at Fedor and stood in favor of the child fights in Chechnya.
Yet following the public humiliation and various attempts at intimidation from his henchmen, Kadyrov took to Instagram to demand that his supporters remove their posts because Fedor likely “realized his mistake.”
“You cannot compromise a person’s honor. I am certain that Fedor Vladimirovich has realized his mistake … We need to be tolerant to each other [and] not get personal when discussing matters of public importance,” Kadyrov said.(h/t Meduza)
Kadyrov’s response was typical of a megalomaniac interested in appearing magnanimous following a particular incident. When Kadyrov was unable to extract an actual apology from Fedor, he instead focused on presenting the image that he was above a conflict with the heavyweight legend and forgave him anyway.