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Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

Youth Olympic boxing medalist killed fighting for Ukraine 

The boxer-turned-soldier was reportedly serving in the occupied eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk region when he died.

Khabib’s manager comforts alleged rapist and human trafficker Andrew Tate

The controversial MMA manager comforted Tate after the kickboxer complained about prison conditions during Ramadan.

Vladimir Putin and Steven Seagal’s strategic bromance is stronger than ever 

Fluctuating between political asset and personal stooge, Steven Seagal continues to prove his worth to his Russian overlord.

Steven Seagal launches Aikido centre to train Russians for military service 

Seagal has been the head instructor of the Russian Aikido Federation since 2018.

Kamaru Usman and other UFC fighters visited warlord Kadyrov. Now they’re headlining UFC 286

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje will be prominently featured at UFC 286 despite potentially violating sanctions.

UFC’s Russian broadcast partner censors MMA fighter for supporting Ukraine

The UFC’s Russian broadcast partner is controlled by a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned oil and gas giant Gazprom.

The New Bloody Elbow Starts Now

Bloody Elbow is launching a reader supported newsletter to help support our upcoming new website. Join us as we reinvent independent community driven MMA journalism.

Boxing faces uncertain Olympic future due to US-Russia politicking

Karim Zidan delves into the ongoing power struggle between the United States and the Russian Federation over boxing’s Olympic future.

MMA fighter Jeff Monson plans to renounce US citizenship: ‘I love Russia’ 

"I am in the process of renouncing American citizenship," Monson told Russian state media.

The UFC can stop Kadyrov’s MMA influence, if it cared 

Through a series of proactive measures and common sense decision making, the UFC could effectively put an end to Kadyrov’s sphere of influence within MMA.