US Targets Russian MMA Promotions for Ties To Human Rights Abuser

Today the US Department of Treasury (H/T Karim Zidan for first reporting on this) designated Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Executive Order for being a foreign person who is a leader of an organization, the Kadyrovtsy, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuses.

Included in the order are MMA organizations Kadyrov has an interest in with the press release noting

In addition to Kadyrov, OFAC is designating the following six companies registered in Russia that continue to provide Kadyrov pride and significant profit:

  • Absolute Championship Akhmat for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Akhmat MMA for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • FC Akhmat Grozny for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Megastroyinvest, OOO for being owned or controlled by the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation.
  • Chechen Mineral Waters Ltd. for being owned or controlled by the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation.

One interesting point worth noting is certain licenced North American MMA athletes and managers have a relationship with Kadyrov and his designated MMA organizations. Some state laws look at actions and relationships that bring disrepute to combat sports as having a potential negative consequences on licencing.

For example, the Nevada Athletic Commision regulations note that “conduct at any time or place which is deemed by the Commission to reflect discredit to unarmed combat” and that dealing or consorting with individuals that “engaged or has engaged in any activity or practice that is detrimental to the best interests of this State, the Commission or unarmed combat.” are potential grounds for suspending or revoking the license, approval, registration or sanctioning of individuals involved in unarmed combat.

It is worth following Karim for continued reporting on this to see just how much blowback, if any, this designation may have in North American combat sports and those that associate with Kadyrov and his designated MMA properties.


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