MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. President of Russian MMA Union and renowned fighter Fedor Emelianenko denounced mixed martial arts fights of children during Tuesday’s Grand Prix Akhmat 2016 tournament in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
"We all must be first of all be an example for the growing generation and must be taking care of their health," a statement from the Russian MMA Union, obtained by TASS on Wednesday, quoted Emelianenko as saying.
"Participation in the fights on a par with adults may result in irrecoverable harm to the health of children and it will not only put an end to their sports career, but will also inflict both physical and psychological damages," he said.
Chechnya’s capital of Grozny hosted on Tuesday MMA tournament Grand Prix Akhmat 2016 featuring fights between children among the bouts of professional fighters. Three of the children were sons of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov - 10-year-old Akhmad, 9-year-old Zelimkhan and 8-year-old Adam.
Three of them were fighting with opponents of the same age and won the fights, while Akhmad managed to beat his opponent, Damir Shevkhuzhev from Sochi, with a knock-out on the 14th second of the fight.
"The fights were held in line with rules and regulations for adult fighters, which is unsuitable for children," Emelianenko, who boasts a record of 36 wins and 4 losses and is dubbed as ‘The Last Emperor, said. "On top of all, MMA regulations prohibit children under the age of 12 from taking part in the fights."
"The developments, which took place at the tournament in Grozny yesterday, are inadmissible and, moreover, cannot be justified," Emelianenko added.
The Russian Ministry of Sports will probe information regarding under-age children’s recent participation in mixed martial arts tournament Grand Prix Akhmat in North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS on Wednesday.
"We will be dealing with this situation and request information about it," Kolobkov said in an interview with TASS.
In line with the regulations of the Russian MMA Union, only children of age over 12 can be allowed taking part in the fights. Participants within the age groups of 12-13, 14-15 and 16-17 are obliged to wear rash guards (an athletic shirt made of spandex and nylon or polyester) and protective ammunitions.