Chechen dictator and MMA promoter issues 'fight to the death' challenge to UFC
Ramzan Kadyrov will go to any lengths 'to show the world that we have the best fighters'
Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial dictator of the Chechen Republic, has issued a challenge to the UFC for a mixed martial arts tournament that goes beyond sports.
Kadyrov, 40, a strong ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, said during an interview with HBO's "Real Sports" that he wants to put up his Akhmat MMA promotion against the world's best. The interview will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
"We propose that UFC and Akhmat face off in a tournament," Kadyrov said. "And we'll see who has the strongest fighters. I think it would be quite a spectacle. They would fight to the end. A fight to the death.
"I want to show the world that we have the best fighters."
No, that wasn't a typo. Kadyrov, who has been accused of attempting to purge the gay population within his home state through outrageously inhumane practices, is really talking about a fight to the death.
"Our motto is: 'Death is better than second place,'" Kadyrov said. "We will bring all your belts from America back to Grozny."
Although three of Kadyrov's Akhmat fighters have signed UFC contracts, the dictator has complained that UFC is standing in his way by refusing to sign more.
Kadyrov attempted to further explain why Chechen fighters are more prepared for success in MMA than others around the globe.
"This is how they teach us from childhood," Kadyrov said. "My father told me when I was a little boy, 'If you're coming home because you got scared, don't come home. I have no need for you. You're not a girl. You're a man.' While a Jewish parent might say to their child, 'You'll be a professor, a scientist.' Here, our parents say, 'He's going to be a warrior.'"
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