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26 Jan, 2022 19:08

Ronaldo handles Russian MMA shirt in gym with F1 star Mazepin

The famously fitness-obsessed footballer took time out from pushing iron while the Formula One racer wore an MMA Union of Russia t-shirt
Ronaldo handles Russian MMA shirt in gym with F1 star Mazepin

Cristiano Ronaldo has met Formula One bad boy Nikita Mazepin in Dubai during a gym session which was celebrated by the Russian's team, Haas.

The American racing outfit shared a photo of the pair, with F1 rookie Mazepin describing his "best gym session this year so far" and the Manchester United megastar draping an arm around his t-shirt which read 'Russian MMA Union'.

Portugal captain Ronaldo grinned and raised a thumb to mirror Mazepin's pose while wearing a tiny pair of shorts that showed off his rippling leg muscles.

The 36-year-old is currently in Dubai relaxing during a 13-day break from action for United before they host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Fourth Round on February 4.

Earlier in the day, Ronaldo shared a photo of himself with his four kids and a football on a beach in the United Arab Emirates.

The self-declared "proud dad" also portrayed himself on a sun-lounger while saying he was enjoying the view.

Mazepin held a gym training session with the President of the MMA Union of Russia, Radmir Gabdullin, the previous day.

Gabdullin is an adviser to the General Director of Uralkali, the title sponsor for Haas which counts Mazepin's father, Dmitry, as a key shareholder.

Mazepin is preparing for pre-season testing in February, with his 2022 F1 campaign getting underway in Bahrain on March 20.

The 22-year-old is hoping to improve on a frustrating debut season when Haas scored no points, and he was also regularly criticized for several crashes and last-placed finishes amid rumors of a strained relationship with teammate Mick Schumacher, who is the son of Formula One's most successful driver of all time, Michael.

This isn't the first time Ronaldo has posed with a leading Russian sports star, as he is good friends with UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The MMA great met Ronaldo at Manchester United's Old Trafford home in October 2021, and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner gave the former lightweight champion a shirt of Real Madrid, who he played for at the time, in February 2018.

Gabdullin, who is a former MMA fighter and sparring partner of revered Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko, described Mazepin's build-up to the 23-race season as "intensive".

"I wish my friend and younger brother success, victories and implementation of tactical and strategic plans at all stages," said the man who succeeded Emelianenko as head of the union.

"Go, Russia, go. Friends, let's support our Russian pilot even more this year."