MOSCOW, November 5, Andrey Vasilchin. After the aggravation of the situation in the Middle East, Russian mixed martial arts fighters professing Islam began to publicly support Palestine in a fierce military conflict with Israel. Among them are ex-champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Khabib Nurmagomedov and his successor, who took the belt Islam Makhachev, star from Chechnya Khamzat Chimaev and one of the most media representatives of domestic MMA Magomed Ismailov.
The latter announced on his social networks his readiness to go to the combat zone:
“Give me a weapon or just tell me where to get it, give me a passage, just give me this loophole – how to get there with a weapon, I swear to Allah, I won’t sit for a second!” I may die in the first minute, but I will have something to say to Allah. There will be something to answer!"
“The activity of the Internet PR troops is off the charts! Some will never make it to Palestine, leaving others with food for memes, others will rinse them – but things are still there! Okay, then who isn’t “air”? Guys, I'll help as much as I can. Tickets for Magee are available at the Fight Nights office. No tears needed – do it! The main thing is to return to our fight. And for those who are worried about Donbass, I am ready to petition the battalion commander to be drafted into a volunteer detachment,” –wrote a deputy of the People’s Council of the DPR.
And while the audience was discussing whether “Volzhanin” had “photoshopped” the photo, Maga was preparing a response to Mineev. And a day later I got in touch:
“Mineev appeared on the horizon, and I was already bored. Did you buy me tickets there? Where are my tickets? If it wasn’t air, I’m waiting your tickets. When the question concerns sponsorship for flights, you and I exclusively require business class. Keep up the level. I’ll write to you in a personal message. Answer where I can pick up my tickets, unless, of course, you’re not an airhead.”
Promoter Kamil Gadzhiev tried to clarify the situation. In a commentary to Sport, he admitted that Mineev posted a photo of tickets with “a message related to the history of his previous fights with Ismailov.” The athletes met twice in 2018 and 2021 (draw/Mineev won by technical knockout in the third round), and then the promotion of the fights was accompanied by a stream of trash talk both in communication with the media and on social networks.
"I think this is partly a joke, some kind of message to Magomed. I called Volodya and asked: “What does the Fight Nights office have to do with it?” He says that for Magomed this is the most understandable place in Moscow, give or take. And if Magomed is going to come for tickets, then let him go there. I did not communicate with Volodya about this topic beforehand; this was his independent initiative. As I understand it, for now this is a kind of message to Maga – come and get your tickets,” said Gadzhiev.
We assume that popular athletes are beginning to stir up interest in the final chapter of the trilogy. Which, by the way, is less than six months away: as Gadzhiev said, Mineev and Ismailov will fight again in March 2024 in Moscow. Regulations – a fight according to boxing rules, eight rounds.