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.
Makhachev has since returned home to Dagestan to a hero’s welcome, and on Sunday photos appeared of what the Russian media said was a visit to Kadyrov in the neighboring Chechen Republic.
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.