The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is being criticized for putting his three young sons in televised mixed martial arts fights earlier this week. All three children came out to background music and were introduced the same way professional MMA fighters, followed by a belt presentation after all winning their matches.
The Chechen leader’s eldest son, 10-year-old Akhmad, won his fight by technical knockout in the cage while his two other sons won their bouts in front of a packed crowd. Russia's most famous fighter, Fedor Emelianenko criticized the fights calling them “unacceptable” and dangerous on his Instagram page.
“Children under 12 aren’t even allowed into the hall as spectators, but here kids who are eight years old were beating each other up in front of delighted adults." Emelianenko wrote on his own Instagram page.
Kadyrov also posted videos on his Instagram page boasting his son defeats and congratulating them in the process. On the other hand, Emelianenko opposed the fight saying MMA rules doesn’t allow those under 12 to compete and that the boys were not wearing helmets or protective vest. He stated that the boys were subject to adult rules in the fights which could harm the boys physically and and psychologically.
"What happened at the tournament in Grozny is unacceptable and, moreover, cannot be justified," Emelianenko, who heads the Russian MMA Union, told the Associated Press. "There were little ones, eight years old, punching each other in front of happy adults. Is it really so important for you to organize a spectacle at the cost of children's health?!"