MMA Fighter Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances in Russia

MMA Fighter Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances in Russia
Sunday, it was reported Georgiy Gagloev, a 25-year-old mixed martial artist from North Ossetia who'd made a video appeal to Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, was found dead on a train traveling in Russia. Russian news agency TASS sources said the death may have been violent and the Telegram channel Baza reported Gagloev was suffocated with a pillow, though another Telegram channel claimed he died of a pulmonary embolism.

Gagloev, a judo and sambo champion who was 1-3 in MMA, was looking into the disappearance of his aunt, Rimma Gagloeva. She was a well known fortuneteller from North Ossetia who went missing in Chechnya last February. Fortunetelling is banned in Muslim-dominated Chechnya. Gagloev had posted a video on Youtube appealing to Kadyrov for help in finding his aunt. Kadyrov, however, has a history of persecuting fortunetellers, faith healers and psychics.

Kadyrov, who was sanctioned by the United States government in 2017 for human rights violations and again last year for his support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has strong connections to the MMA world. He founded the Akhmat MMA fight club, which counts UFC contenders Khamzat Chimaev and Magomed Ankalaev as members. Despite the U.S. sanctions, American UFC stars Henry Cejudo, Justin Gaethje and Kamaru Usman all visited Chechnya last November reportedly attending a birthday party for one of Kadyrov's sons.

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