clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Russian oligarch who sponsored Khabib handed lengthy prison sentence

Ziyavudin Magomedov was handed 19 years in a maximum-security prison on charges of embezzling state funds and organizing a criminal group.

The oligarch who once funded the career of former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been handed a lengthy prison sentence this week.

Ziyavudin Magomedov, 54, was sentenced to 19 years in a maximum security prison after being found guilty on charges of embezzling state funds and organizing a criminal group. The ruling, which was announced Thursday, found that Magomedov and his brother had embezzled a total of 11 billion rubles (approx. $180 million) from the state through land, real estate and other deals.

Magomedov was also fined 2.5 million rubles (approx. $41,000) and was stripped of his state awards.

The oligarch was once one of the richest men in Russia, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion at the time of his arrest in 2018. He gained his wealth as the founder of Summa Group, a diversified private holding company with significant investments in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunications, and the oil and gas sector.

Magomedov was also a combat sports enthusiast who has invested significant sums into the Russian mixed martial arts scene. He owned a controlling share of AMC Fight Nights, which was once one of the most popular promotions in the country. He also founded the now defunct Eagles MMA fight team, Nurmagomedov once served as president of.

Less than six months after Magomedov’s arrest, the Eagles MMA team was engulfed in scandal when one of its executives, Denis Klopnev, was arrested in absentia for the attempted murder of sambo fighter Shamil Kuramagomedov, a bronze medalist in the 2017 Russian Combat Sambo Championship. The arrest took place after a group of fighters affiliated to Eagles MMA and Summa Group attacked Kuramagomedov and beat him within an inch of his life.

Magomedov, who reportedly showed interest in purchasing a portion of the UFC in 2016, also financially supported several fighters, including Nurmagomedov. He even paid for the former champ’s back surgery in 2017, which was done in Germany, and funded the majority of Nurmagomedov’s expenses during training camps.

Magomedov was arrested a few weeks prior to Nurmagomedov winning the lightweight championship at UFC 223. The newly-crowned champ opted to use his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan to plead with Russian president Vladimir Putin to “help” Magomedov.

”Our elder brother, co-owner of our team Ziyavudin Magomedov, is in a difficult situation,” Khabib said during the UFC 223 PPV. “He was very helpful to me and other athletes from Russia. Now he has problems, but I want him to know that we, the athletes, are praying for him. I believe that this situation will soon be resolved. I hope that our leader Vladimir Putin will help him. I want to congratulate him on the victory in the last election.”

Magamedov continues to deny the charges levied against him.