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13 May, 2022 16:10

Chechen UFC sensation feted by Kadyrov (VIDEO)

Khamzat Chimaev returned to his native land to visit the local leader
Chechen UFC sensation feted by Kadyrov (VIDEO)

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechen Republic, paid tribute to surging UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev upon his return to his homeland just weeks after scoring the biggest win of his career in a fight-of-the-year candidate against the Brazilian former title challenger Gilbert Burns.

Chimaev continued what appears to be a path directly towards a UFC world title shot with his win against the then-second-ranked Burns, and has become a legitimate superstar in the less than two years he has spent on the UFC roster.

Today, Chimaev lives in Sweden where he emigrated at the age of 18 after being born in Beno-Yurt, Chechnya, but retains close ties to the area in which he grew up and first began the wrestling training which would eventually bring him to the brink of a UFC championship. 

Kadyrov, who is one of Chimaev's most notable fans, has long held an interest in the fighter. He is said to have gifted him a Mercedes Benz after a fight (which Chimaev reportedly crashed some months later), while further reports also stated that Kadyrov helped persuade Chimaev not to retire from MMA in March of 2021 after he suffered a particularly serious Covid-19 infection.

And in their latest meeting, footage of which was uploaded to Instagram, Kadyrov could be seen congratulating Chimaev for his recent win, while also paying tribute to the UFC star in accompanying comments on the social media website.

“After a resounding victory over the Brazilian Gilbert Burns 'Chechen Wolf' Khamzat Chimaev upon returning to his native land, the first thing he did was visit me, read quotes attributed to Kadyrov, via translation.

“It was with great pleasure that I met our undefeated fighter and personally congratulated him on his victory. Also, Khamzat did not forget about my commitment to sports and a healthy lifestyle and presented me with memorable gifts in the form of sports equipment.

“Khamzat is a unique fighter, has a huge arsenal of fighting skills, Kadyrov continued.

“Over and over again, he pleases us with spectacular fights, leaving no chance of victory for his opponents, who, by an unfortunate coincidence, had a chance to go one on one with him.

“The number of unconditional victories is growing rapidly, in contrast to defeats, the mark of which is invariably at zero. Modest in everyday life, Khamzat, entering the octagon, in an instant transforms into an unstoppable fighter who does not suffer defeat.

“I sincerely wish Khamzat success in sports activities and once again congratulate him on his bright victory! I am sure that he will achieve great heights and steamroll all the oncoming opponents.”

Kadyrov is a noted fan of combat sports and has previously been seen in the company of undefeated world champions Khabib Nurmagomedov and Floyd Mayweather.