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Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

The UFC can stop Kadyrov’s MMA influence, if it cared 

Through a series of proactive measures and common sense decision making, the UFC could effectively put an end to Kadyrov’s sphere of influence within MMA.

Diaz rep denies Chimaev’s claim that Kadyrov offered him $2 million

Khamzat Chimaev recently claimed that Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov offered Nate Diaz an extra $2 million to accept UFC 279 fight at a higher weight.

Oleksandr Usyk calls on IOC not to allow Russians to compete at Paris Olympics 

The world heavyweight champion urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to allow Russian athletes to compete at the upcoming Games, including under a neutral banner.

Fighter with neo-Nazi tattoos gets medal for ‘denazification’ of Ukraine

Mikhail Turkanov, a neo-Nazi MMA fighter who joined Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was awarded the Order of Courage for his role in the war.

UFC fighters train with Ramzan Kadyrov’s son and entourage in Thailand 

Khamzat Chimaev and several other UFC fighters has been training with 15-year-old Ali Kadyrov at the renowned Tiger Muay Thai training facility in Thailand.

Iranian karate champion given 15 minutes to plead case before receiving death penalty 

Mohammad Mehdi Karami was also not given final rights to speak to his family before execution.

Beterbiev thanks dictator Kadyrov after Yarde TKO, says he is ‘proud to have such a brother’ 

"Your faith in me for many years has been an incentive for me to strive for new achievements," Beterbiev told Kadyrov following his win.

MMA champ joins Russia’s war; now stationed in occupied Ukraine

Vladimir Mineev is reportedly stationed in the occupied eastern Ukrainian territory of Donetsk, where he is expected to take part in Russia’s ongoing offensive.

Indian wrestling champion accuses federation president with ties to Modi of sexual exploitation 

Vinesh Phogat says she fears for her safety after speaking out against the Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

World boxing champ Usyk says Putin is doing ‘Hitler’s work’

"You are the Third Reich in all the variety of its manifestations. What Hitler didn’t do, your president continues to do. Can you imagine? Yes."