Damning translation of Chimaev’s UFC 273 celebratory speech surfaces – shouted out controversial Chechen leader

Khamzat Chimaev may have immigrated to Sweden when he was 18, but he’s still very much in touch with his Chechen roots. The night before his clash with Gilbert Burns was scheduled to happen, Chimaev had face timed the controversial Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov is a long time patron of MMA and jiu jitsu but he’s also one of the radical voices supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with his postings, and with the forces he’s sent to the battlefields.

Kadyrov’s forces previously participated in the 2008 war in Georgia in addition to the first phase of the Ukraine conflict back in 2014.

According to Harold Chambers, a North Caucasus analyst, Chechen forces linked to Kadyrov – also known as “Kadyrovtsy” – were part of the convoy that headed to Kyiv and are also in the besieged city Mariupol.

“The Kadyrovtsy in Ukraine have been given conventional objectives (ie, neutralising Ukrainian leadership, counterinsurgency, stopping desertion), while playing a crucial part in Putin’s initial psychological warfare campaign,” Chambers told Al Jazeera.

But none of this is particularly surprising – what is is that Khamzat Chimaev chose to support the dictator during his time in the spotlight following the decision victory over Gilbert Burns.

One of MMA’s most serious journalistic voices, Mike Russell wrote on twitter:

“For those wondering about what Chimaev said in Russian during his post-fight interview, it was, as many expected, a message of support to U.S. sanctioned Chechen warlord and president Ramzan Kadyrov: (h/t to our friends at @vayfond for the translation).”

UFC regularly uploads octagon interviews to their channels – Chimaev’s was no different.