Russia Roundup: Badr Hari spars with Chechen President, Fedor trains Arabs in Dubai

The proliferation of Russian MMA over the past few years has become impossible to deny. There are approximately 30 fighters on the UFC roster…

By: Karim Zidan | 9 years ago
Russia Roundup: Badr Hari spars with Chechen President, Fedor trains Arabs in Dubai
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The proliferation of Russian MMA over the past few years has become impossible to deny. There are approximately 30 fighters on the UFC roster of Russian origin and that number is gradually rising with each passing month. With an endless array of prospects in Russia, as well as the North Caucasus regions of Chechnya and Dagestan, it can get difficult trying to keep up with the regional scene and notable happenings from that side of the world.

Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the ‘Russia Roundup,’ a bi-weekly series of articles that will serve as your multimedia guide to staying up-to-date with the Russian MMA scene. Whether it is the latest news, signings, or prospect talk, this is the place to read up on the Russian MMA.

Latest Roundup

  • This past weekend saw the inaugural ‘Akhmat MMA’ show – an event named after President Ramzan’ Kadyrovs father, the ex-president who was assassinated in 2004. The event showcased some of the brightest talent in the region, including two of BloodyElbow’s scouted prospects (Khusein Khaliev and Abdul-Kerim Edilov), as well as top Flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov. Given that the event was named after his own father, Kadyrov was naturally in attendance at the event, as were several notable UFC stars, including middleweight champion Chris Weidman, interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, and former champ Frank Mir. Kickboxing star Badr Hari was also in attendance and was later pictured sparring with the president.
  • WSOF announced last week that they had signed Khabib Nurmagomedov’s younger brother, Abubakar to a contract. Ranked the third best welterweight prospect in the BloodyElbow Scouting Report, the 9-1 fighter is set to debut later this year.
  • Renowned Russian fighter Konstantin Gluhov recounted the 12-year period he spent trapped with a sect that was taking 100 percent of his fight purses. His former coach, Yuriy Ryjikov, was withholding his income and providing him with minimal allowances to go about his daily life. Eventually, Gluhov fled to the Ukraine, where he waited for a year in fear before finally escaping the clutches of the sect and his “crazy coach.”
  • Former M-1 Global middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev discussed the tragic murder of his former head coach in a recent interview. Musail Allaudinov, who was responsible for building up talents such as Rashid Magomedov and Shahbulat Shamhalaev, was gunned down by an automatic weapon while on the Makhachkala – Kaspiysk highway. His Toyota Camry showed 27 bullet holes, and the murder weapon – a Kalashnikov – was left next to the car, which suggests that it was a contract killing and not a random occurrence.

Regional News

  • M-1 Global announced an intriguing fight that will headline their Orenburg show in May. Heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura and light-heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz will meet in a five-round non-title fight that will take place at heavyweight. Given how impressive both these champions have been recently, their clash at M-1 Challenge 57 should be an exceptional fight.
  • The top Russian promotion has also added several new fights to their upcoming M-1 Challenge 56 show in Moscow, including Ante Delija vs. Kostantin Gluhov. The event is headlined by a pair of title fights, a middleweight rematch between Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Ramazan Emeev, as well as a lightweight title fight between Ivan Buchinger and Tural Ragimov.
  • This past weekend’s Akhamt MMA event saw three prospects earn impressive victories in their feature fights. Khusein Khaliev, Abdul-Kerim Edilov, as well as top Flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov all won in front of their fellow countrymen.
  • It was recently announced that Belsan Isaev and Musa Khamanaev, two Russian prospects, had received their American visas and would make the trip over to Florida to train with the Blackzilians. Isaev has already arrived in the US and begun training with his new team.
  • Zubaira Tukhugov and Mairbek Taisumov announced recently that they are going to focus on training at the Chechen based Fight Club Berkut team.

Russian MMA in Instagrams

As guests of honor during their stay in Chechnya, the UFC fighters were submerged into the boisterous culture of the Caucasus, which included festivities well into the night after the event. Weidman and Mir were even taught how to dance the Lezginka, the national dance of many republics in the Caucasus.

Chris Weidman:

Крис Вайдман танцует Лезгинку

A video posted by Новости MMA (@mma_russia) on

A photo posted by CHECHEN FIGHT CLUB (@__cfc__) on

Дорогие друзья! Чеченский национальный костюм и кухня нравятся всем. В этом мы в очередной раз убедились во время дружеского ужина, который я дал в честь победителя турнира “Грозная битва” Абдул-Керима Эдилова и легендарных спортсменов Бадр Хари, Фабрицио Вердум, Френк Мир, Крис Вайдман, Забит Самедова и других. Мы очень приятно провели время, побеседовали о спорте, рассказали жизненные истории. Кто-то из гостей пожелал примерить традиционную одежду чеченцев. Фабрицио, Френк и Крис одели черкесски, подпоясались. Мы много фотографировались. На прощание гости сказали, что нет вкуснее чеченских блюд и народного костюма красивее, чем у чеченцев. Я, честно говоря, не стал спорить и охотно согласился. Мы договорились в понедельник провести большую показательную тренировку. #Кадыров #Россия #Чечня #Спорт

A video posted by Аллах Велик!!! (@kadyrov_95) on

Russian MMA in Tweets

Top flyweight prospect Magomed Bibulatov destroyed his opponent in the co-main event of the inaugural Akhmat MMA event in Chechnya. He then tweeted out a message for UFC President Dana White.

While in Chechnya as one of the honoured guests for Akhmat MMA, Badr Hari was pictured sparring with the Chechen President, whom he referred to as his “dear friend.”

As usual, you can’t have a Russian MMA event without a little bit of bizarre entertainment. What was it this time? A Caucasian battle scene.

Fedor Emelianenko’s stay in the United Arab Emirates was not limited to just training seminars. The legendary heavyweight spent a portion of his stay in the desert with his daughter.

If you haven’t noticed recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov may just be MMA latest great trash talker.




This is what M-1 fighter would look like if they were knights

My favourite video this week…

Scheduled Events in March

March 21st: Absolute Championship Berkut 15

March 21st: Fight Nights: Cup of Moscow

March 29st: ProFC 57 – New Era

For this week’s collection, here are the feature fights from the inaugural Akhmat MMA fight card.

Violence in Video

Abdul-kerm Edilov vs. Tiago Tosato

Magomed Bibulatov vs. Eduardo Felipe

Khusein Khaliev vs. Samuel Trindade

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

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.

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