The fan-favorite Khamzat Chimaev is seemingly turning into a UFC villain in real time. Many fans were already upset with his disrespectful and dismissive behavior towards fellow fighters. Now fans have found a new reason to get angry at him.
Chechnya is a Sovereign Russian republic currently ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov. He is a controversial figure both in his country and abroad for his dictatorial ruling system, close association with Putin, and allegations of involvement in the killing of many fellow Chechens.
Khamzat initially didn’t seem to have any connection to Kadyrov at all. But as he started to get famous, he seemed to have caught the dictator’s eye. The first instance of their association was seen probably after Chimaev’s bout against Gerard Meerschaert. The Chechen president gifted ‘Borz’ a Mercedes.
Since then, Ramzan has made repeated appearances on Khamzat’s social media. A common theme in many of the photos is the fierce fighter tapping in a tussle against Kadyrov. Later, the Chechen president’s children also started to appear in Chimaevs social’s and real-life appearances. It is also rumored that Chimaev got married to one of Ramzan’s kin.
But why exactly is this association so controversial? We need to remember that Khamzat left Chechnya in search of a better life. He was brought up in the heat of the Chechen war and suffered immensely in its aftermath. Now joining forces with a pro-Russia figure like Kadyrov seems like heresy to many.
“I lost all respect for you,” one fan wrote.
“Chillin with dictators again huh?” asked another.
“Can someone explain the controversy around this photo?” one confused fan wrote.
One thing that remains unclear is Khamzats genuine opinion on this matter. The Chechen fighter has never discussed the issue on a personal level. Fans would probably like some clarity.