Former UFC star Abdul-Kerim Edilov has reportedly died’ at the age of 30.
Edilov’s aggressive and ruthless style earned him the nickname ‘The Chechnyan Lion’. The 6ft 3in light heavyweight was never able to win a championship in the Octagon, but he did enjoy a very impressive 17-4-0 record in MMA.
However, Edilov may be better known for his closeness with Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, who reportedly entrusted the fighter with looking after his children.
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Reports from MMA news outlet ‘The Bloody Elbow’ understand Chechen activists believe Edilov has died. At the time of writing the way in which he may have passed away is a bit of a mystery.
However, the report went out of its way to claim Edilov’s relationship with Kadyrov has fragmented in recent times. Edilov used to act as the nanny of Kayrov’s children in what was a clear indication of the amount of trust the dictator had in the fighter.
In February 2022, Edilov stood beside Kadyrov, in the Chechnya capital of Grozny when the tyrant pledged his solidarity with Vladimir Putin, in the wake of Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine.
Edilov was even named as the vice-premier of Chechnya not long after Kadyrov’s declaration. However, the understanding between the pair had reportedly fractured, with it claimed that Edilov had “fallen out of favour with Kayrov” and resigned from his position last month.
As well as supporting Putin and ruling Chechnya, Kadyrov also has a very large influence in the world of MMA. He currently owns Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) and is in negotiations to purchase veteran Russian MMA organisation AMC Fight Nights.
The takeover would arguably make the ACA the most significant and largest MMA organisation in Russia, thus making him one of the most influential figures in the sport as a whole.
The UFC has distanced themselves from Kadyrov and the ACA.
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