clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ramzan Kadyrov calls out Dana White after UFC 282 split draw, demands his fighter be made champion

In a rare English language social media post Sunday, the Chechen dictator took aim at the UFC and Dana White for the UFC 282 main event controversy.

Following a split draw in the UFC 282 main event that saw Ramzan Kadyrov’s fighter, Magomed Ankalaev, denied a UFC championship, the Chechen dictator has called out the organization and its leading figure.

In a rare English language social media post Sunday, Kadyrov took aim at UFC President Dana White and blamed “politics” and “dirty” refereeing as the reasons why Ankalaev was not awarded the vacant light-heavyweight title.

“Dana White, what happened to you?” Kadyrov wrote to his approximately 3 million followers on Telegram. “You were a normal, principled man, and today you took the championship belt out of the ring without handing it to the clear winner. Or has politics entered the UFC ring and requires you to referee dirty? It’s a sport, Dana. Be honest.”

Kadyrov’s statement is in reference to the UFC 282 main event, which saw Ankalaev challenge Jan Blachowicz for the recently-vacated light-heavyweight title.

Originally scheduled as the co-main event of the evening, the fight was elevated to the marquee spot on the UFC’s final pay-per-view event of the year after champion Jiri Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury during training camp and opted to vacate his title.

Though the sudden development allowed Ankalaev to secure his first title shot in the world’s leading MMA promotion, it also served as the latest example of a warlord’s ever-growing influence within the UFC.

Ankalaev is a one of a handful of UFC fighters currently affiliated with Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Chechnya routinely accused of orchestrating human rights abuses including assassinations, abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings, and purges targeting the local LGBTQ+ community.

Their relationship dates back to 2016, when Ankalaev first joined Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA fight club, a state-sponsored mixed martial arts gym founded by Kadyrov himself. Since then, the Dagestan-born fighter has continued to represent Kadyrov during competition, including throughout his UFC tenure.

Ankalaev has continued to maintain ties to Kadyrov despite the U.S. Department of the Treasury prohibiting U.S. citizens or people present in the United States from doing business with Kadyrov. At the time, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control cited “extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations” among the reasons for sanctioning Kadyrov. The U.S. Treasury also issued sanctions in 2020 directed at several of Kadyrov’s businesses, including Akhmat MMA.

Given that Ankalaev would have been Kadyrov’s first homegrown UFC champion, the dictator is now demanding that the UFC reverse its decision and crown Ankalaev as champion.

“Take an example from Mairbek Khasiev, (ACA league), who stops any [judging] in the league, any bias, demanding objectivity and not mixing sports with politics,” Kadyrov wrote, in reference to the Absolute Championship Akhmat founder who disqualified ACA fighters for being too boring and is known for reversing judging decisions.

“Hey, Dana White, were are you going? Save the face of the league, your own face. Admit your mistake, give the belt to the real winner, and apologize for this show. Save your league’s reputation.”