Longtime MMA patron Ramzan Kadyrov has been in the news a ton lately thanks to the war Russia is waging on Ukraine.
Kadyrov is a supporter of Russia and had reportedly dispatched Chechnya forces to aid with invasion.
He’s also a huge MMA fan and supporter. Kadyrov recently facilitated peace between Dagestan’s UFC alumni and Khamzat Chimaev but he didn’t stop there either. He also invited three other UFC stars to visit his country.
The three were spotted testing out guns at a special forces facility in Gudermes.
BE’s Karim Zidan was the first to report on the sighting.
Former UFC champs Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo, along with Justin Gaethje, are all currently in Chechnya at the invitation of the republic's warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
Here they are testing out guns at a special forces facility in Gudermes. pic.twitter.com/lJIm8kBHRS
— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) November 25, 2022
The three share a manager in Ali Abdelaziz. It’s unquestionably a lucrative visit for them – and some even speculate that this is the visit Sean O’Malley talked about rejecting despite an obnoxious amount of money on his recent appearance on the Joe Rogan experience.
While neither of the three publicized the visit, Usman shared a snap of himself along with Hasbulla – who might also be there.
Cejudo even facetimed Mike Tyson to facilitate a meeting between him and Hasbulla.
Cejudo shared a series of stories about his trip there. They appear to have been flown private out of an airfield in Istanbul – and greeted by a Bugatti Veyron in Chechnya.
While Usman and Gaethje are less present on social media, Cejudo ended up sharing a series of videos prominently featuring Hasbulla and with no mention of their patron.
U.S. Treasury Department on September 15 added top Russian finance officials, relatives of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to their list of sanctioned individuals.
The list includes three of Kadyrov’s wives and three of his adult daughters. It also places additional sanctions on the Chechen leader, who has been under U.S. sanctions since December 2017.
“Kadyrov has recruited for Russia’s war efforts through mixed martial arts clubs, which enables him and his units to continue their activity in Ukraine,” the department said.
A Russian social media account published additional pictures of the encounter captioning it:
“Eminent athletes toured the sights of the region. In particular, the guests visited the territory of the Russian University of Special Forces in Gudermes. Here they arranged a tour of the complex. The most enjoyable part was the opportunity to shoot from various types of firearms, including a grenade launcher.
Remember that former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman already visited the Chechen Republic last year. As part of his trip, he met with the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, and personally conducted training sessions for the sons of the head of the region.”