Though Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov has been doing damage control on his social media account in an attempt to ease negative coverage, Russia’s Ministry of Sports announced that they will review the incident on October 18.
In the immediate aftermath of the tournament, which showcased Kadyrov three sons (11-year-old Akhmad, 9-year-old Zelimkhan, and 8-year-old Adam) in MMA fights without protection, Fedor Emelianenko condemned the seemingly illegal activity. In a social media post, Fedor explained that “what happened in Grozny is unacceptable & cannot be justified.”
Fedor’s comments prompted an investigation by the Kremlin and the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Russian Federation. On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Sports announced that their investigation is under way.
“We have received the documents, a working group of the Ministry of Sports Meeting held on October 18, invited the Minister of Sports (Chechen Republic), we will investigate in this matter,” said Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Koloboks (h/t Tass.ru).
According to the Russian MMA Union, which Fedor is president of, children can participate in MMA from the age of 12. However, all participants younger than 18 must be dressed in protective headgear, padding and rash guard. Kadyrov’s event met none of those requirements and was seemingly nothing more than entertainment for his henchmen and propaganda for the masses.
Fedor’s condemnation of Kadyrov’s event also led to a series of abusive responses from the members of the Akhmat Fight Club, including WSOF flyweight champion Magomed 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.
All comments were later deleted at the request of Kadyrov, who declared on his social media account that Fedor likely “realized his mistake.”
This was followed by a statement from Chechnya’s own Commissioner for Children’s Rights, who found no evidence of foul play or illegality in Kadyrov’s decision to host children’s fights.
“Testing has not revealed any violations of children’s rights. The children were not enrolled in the tournament regulations, they just fought for show. I talked with the children, they have no injury, either physical or moral.”