Chechen Strongman Kadyrov Puts Children Into MMA Fight

Chechen ruler, Ramzan Kadyrov, has been broadly criticized after he entered his three sons, aged 8, 9 and 10, to fight in a caged mixed-martial-arts fight on October 4th, in Chechnya. The chairman of Russia’s MMA union, and MMA fighter, Fydodor Yemelyanenko, called the fights “unacceptable” and said that Kadyrov’s children would not be allowed to participate as spectators, let alone participate in an MMA fight.


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty later published a report about an assault on the daughter of Yemelyanenko, that took place shortly after the Russian MMA chief leveled his criticism against Vladimir Putin’s Chechen strongman, Kadyrov.

According to the RFE/RL report, the teenage daughter of  Yemelyanenko was hospitalized after reportedly being assaulted by an unidentified man.

Russian media reported on October 12 that the assailant punched Yemelyanenko’s 16-year-old daughter in the chest late last week while she was walking on the street.

Children in Violent, Caged Fights

Photo RT/Vkontakte

Yemelyanenko said that the child fights were billed as “exhibitions” but that “in fact, viewers witnessed real fights.”

RFE/RL reports that a close associate of the Kremlin-backed Kadyrov, who rules war-scarred Chechnya like his personal fiefdom and has been accused of targeting political opponents with violence both in Russia and abroad, responded to Yemelyanenko’s criticism with what appeared to be a veiled threat.

“Whoever the man is, he will have to be accountable for every word he uttered regarding my dear nephews,” Adam Delimkhanov, Kadyrov’s cousin and a federal lawmaker, wrote on Instagram on October 6. He called Yemelyanenko a “coward.”

The RFE/RL report says that Kadyrov wrote on Instagram that Yemelyanenko was “wrong” and acted dishonorably in criticizing the fights, though he later called on supporters to refrain from heaping abuse on the fighter.

A Moscow city police spokesman said police were looking into the reported incident. Journalist Eva Merkacheva, who broke the story for Moskovsky Komsomolets, wrote on Facebook that a criminal case had been opened into alleged “assault.”


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