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Guy is a murderer: Sean O Malley on why he rejected invite from Ramzan Kadyrov

LockerRoom Team
19 December 2022

Money is everything to Sean O'Malley, but not at the expense of his morality.

Three former UFC champions — Kamaru Usman, Henry Cejudo, and Justin Gaethje — came under fire in November for accepting Ramzan Kadryov of Chechnya's offer to travel to Chechnya and attend one of the warlord's adolescent sons' birthday celebrations. O'Malley also claims that he had a similar offer but passed it up.

“The reason we never really ended up going [to Chechnya] is because we were saying like, who is this for? And then we didn’t really get an answer. So, I’m like, ‘F*** that!’ Imran [Jawaid, one of O’Malley’s business advisors], you know, I listen to Imran’s advice and Imran was like, ‘Hey, I don’t have a good feeling about this. Let’s not move forward with that,” O Malley noted on his YouTube Channel.

O'Malley's advice should not be disregarded. For "severe human rights abuses," the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Kadyrov in 2020.

Many of Kadyrov's enterprises, including his MMA gym, are now off-limits to anybody conducting business in the US, but this hasn't stopped numerous well-known MMA athletes from maintaining their relationships with him. O'Malley is happy that he is not one of them.

“They went over to Chechnya. And the guy [Kadyrov] is a murderer, basically. The top dog. Like, best friends with [Vladimir] Putin. He’s not a good person, and that’s who they went there, to his kid’s birthday party. And, that’s where I got invited to go. And, yeah, I’ve heard that they’re getting some backlash for going,” he added.

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Usman and Cejudo have made no public statements regarding the incident, but Gaethje has defended his activities online by asserting that despite attending a birthday party and engaging in gunplay at the Russian Special Forces University, he never actually met Kadyrov.

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