Khusein Khaliev, a lightweight fighter who represents Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA fight club and competes for the World Fighting Championships of Akhmat promotion in Chechnya, stated that McGregor should “show remorse” for mentioning Kadyrov during the UFC 229 press conference last Thursday if he is “not looking for trouble.”
“Conor, you’re a master trashtalker. But this time I was offended after watching the press conference” Khaliev said in an Instagram post. “This talk is acceptable in Ireland, America and elsewhere. But when it comes to Chechnya or the Caucasus, you need to think about what to say, and what not to say. You will have to answer for your words, inside a cage or outside of it. We never forgive for attacking the honor of our family. So I suggest you show remorse and apologize quickly, because life does not end with your fight against Khabib. Watch your tongue if you’re not looking for trouble.”
This is not the first time that a fighter or representative of the Akhmat MMA fight club has intimidated outspoken fighters. When Russian heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko spoke out against Kadyrov’s decision to host child MMA fights featuring his pre-pubescent children, the Akhmat MMA fight club led a coordinated online attack on Emelianenko. This included threats from the club’s president, Abuzayed Vismuradov, as well as several UFC fighters including Magomed Bibulatov and Abdul-kerim Edilov.
Akhmat MMA fighters have also been known to intimidate journalists. In 2017, UFC light-heavyweight Abdul-kerim Edilov, intimidated HBO Real Sports journalist David Scott during the reporter’s trip to Grozny, Chechnya.
”This was the most intimidating place I’ve ever been,” Scott told Business Insider. “Every man and boy between the ages of 11 to 75 looks like they are about to kick your a--.”