Khamzat Chimaev, a UFC fighter from Chechnya, addressed the leader of the Russian Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on Saturday, asking for his permission to join the fight in Palestine in a post-fight interview at UFC 294.
In an emotional speech following his victory against former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Chimaev, 29, addressed the situation with multiple conflicts raging in the world.
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“Guys, you know what’s happening in the world right now. I wasn’t happy in the cage fight this week, and seeing kids dying,” Chimaev, who also goes by the nickname Borz, said.
The fighter, who immigrated to Sweden in 2013 and currently represents the UAE, thanked Chechnya and switched to his native language to address Kadyrov.
“With your support, it’s not a problem for me to fight in the octagon, and if you’ll grant me permission – I swear – I’ll be the first to travel there. I’m asking you, give me a weapon and allow me to go fight for Palestine,” Chimaev said, according to Russian news outlet RBK.
Kadyrov congratulated Chimaev on Telegram, commending the fighter for “strongly condemning the violence against the residents of Gaza.”
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“Khamzat has shown how much the heart of a true Muslim is aching for the fraternal Palestinian nation,” the Chechen leader wrote.
More than 4,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed since the Israel-Gaza conflict erupted earlier this month, following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel which prompted retaliatory airstrikes against Gaza.