Makhachev parades UFC title on visit to Kadyrov (PHOTO)
Islam Makhachev was seen proudly displaying his UFC lightweight title alongside Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, as the pair celebrated the Dagestani fighter’s recent success.
Makhachev became Russia’s latest UFC champion when he submitted Brazilian rival Charles Oliveira in the second round of their main event in Abu Dhabi on October 22.
By capturing the title, Makhachev followed in the footsteps of friend and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was in his corner at the Etihad Arena for UFC 280.
The pair were seen posing with Makhachev’s UFC belt, as well as alongside members of the Grozny-based ‘Akhmat’ fighting championship.
Kadyrov is a well-known fight fan, and is often seen with undefeated UFC welterweight fighter Khamzat Chimaev, who hails from the region.
The Chechen leader was among the peace brokers after unsavory scenes broke out on the sidelines in Abu Dhabi when Chimaev was seen clashing with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin, Abubakar, shortly after Makhachev had won his title.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the scuffle between Chimaev and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, although the pair are said to have engaged in an online spat last year.
The day after the incident, Chimaev met with Khabib and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, as well as Makhachev and other members of their team, to resolve any lingering tensions.
Kadyrov also shared a message on social media in which he stressed there was no hostility between the two camps, of which he said he had been “personally assured.”
Makhachev, meanwhile, improved his professional record to 23-1 with his win over Oliveira, and is tipped to face Australian UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in his first title defense next year.