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UFC’s Darren Till poses for picture with Daniel Kinahan, alleged leader of the Kinahan Cartel

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A picture out of Dubai shows Darren Till posing with Daniel Kinahan.

UFC Fight Night: Nelson v Burns Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

MTK Global’s Bahrain Brand Ambassador Mohamed Bin Mansoor Al Arayedh uploaded a picture to Instagram yesterday showing him posing with UFC welterweight Darren Till and Daniel Kinahan. Till is an MTK Global client. Kinahan, who founded what would become MTK, is the alleged leader of the Kinahan Cartel; Ireland’s largest narcotics traffickers and one half of a gang feud that has resulted in at least 20 deaths since 2015.

Alarayedh included the following caption with the image; “With my dear friend Mr. Daniel Kinahan and the UFC supterstar Darren Till.” It is unclear when the picture was taken. The picture was taken in Dubai, UAE, according to Instagram’s geotagging feature.

Irish press has reported that Kinahan resides in Dubai out of fears that he could be assassinated back in Ireland or in southern Spain (where Kinahan and other rumored cartel members formerly lived). Last month it was reported that Kinahan was wanted by Irish police over a failed murder plot.

According to MTK’s official website Till signed a management contract with MTK in December 2017. Till had been a part of the UFC since 2015. His first fight after signing with MTK was his victory over Stephen Thompson in the headline event of UFC Fight Night 130, held in Till’s hometown of Liverpool, England.

MTK began life in 2012 as Macklin’s Gym Marbella (MGM), a boxing gym based in Marbella, Spain. The company was founded by former professional boxer Matthew Macklin and Daniel Kinahan. MGM then evolved into a boxing promoter and management company.

In February 2016 a weigh-in event at Dublin’s Regency Hotel — for an MGM boxing show — was interrupted by a crew of masked gunmen. The gunmen shot and killed David Byrne and wounded Sean McGovern. Both Byrne and McGovern have been reported as being high-level members of the Kinahan Cartel. Daniel Kinahan was at the weigh-ins and Irish press have speculated that he was the target of the attack.

Investigators believe the Regency Hotel attack was conducted by members of the Hutch Gang, in retaliation for a number of assassinations of Hutch Gang members allegedly carried out by the Kinahan Cartel in both Ireland and Spain. The feud is reported to have started in September 2015 when Kinahan members killed Gary Hutch; the nephew of alleged Hutch Gang leader Gerry Hutch.

After the Regency Hotel shooting, the MGM gym in Marbella was raided by police officers from Spain and Ireland. Shortly after this MGM rebranded to become Mack The Knife (MTK) Global.

MTK then stated that it had severed ties with Daniel Kinahan. However, Irish reporters continue to question MTK’s association with Kinahan. This lead to MTK boycotting Irish press in 2018. Prior to the media blackout Macklin revealed that Kinahan, “still advises lots of fighters”. Also in 2017 Tyson Fury posted a picture on twitter showing him posing with Kinahan.

Twitter

Along with Till and Fury, MTK’s website lists the following fighters among their client pool:

  • Carl Frampton
  • Michael Conlan
  • Billy Joe Saunders
  • Hughie Fury
  • Alex Silva, UFC
  • Gilberto Galvao, ONE
  • Glaico Franca, PFL
  • Sarah Frota, UFC
  • Viviane Pereira, Invicta FC
  • Mike Grundy, UFC
  • Stefan Sekulic, UFC
  • Maiquel Falcao
  • Phil Baroni