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Russia freezes MMA star Khabib’s bank accounts over unpaid taxes

The former Russian UFC lightweight champion owes nearly $1 million to the country’s tax authorities

Russia’s Federal Tax Service has frozen bank accounts belonging to former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after the MMA star ran up a debt with the country’s authorities.

The overdue amount exceeds 79 million rubles ($1 million) as of July 1, RT Russian reported on Monday, citing the Federal Tax Service database. Meanwhile, local news outlet Mash media previously claimed that Nurmagomedov’s debt had amounted to 297 million rubles ($3.4 million).

Before the Dagestan-born MMA fighter retired from the sport four years ago, he went 29-0 in an unbeaten professional career, defeating the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. In 2022, the Russian athlete was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Since calling time on his sporting career, the UFC lightweight champion has embarked on a number of business ventures, including dietary supplements, a restaurant chain, and hotels.

In May, Mash media claimed that bank accounts belonging to Eagle FC promotion and the charity fund belonging to Nurmagomedov had been blocked due to a $3 million debt. The sportsman reportedly relinquished the ownership of several firms, but his relatives and close associates allegedly remained in control of some of them.

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on October 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Khabib’s gym searched by Russian cops (VIDEO)

These moves were reportedly what attracted the attention of the country’s tax authorities, which launched a probe into the former UFC champion and found irregularities in documents, leading to the closure of some businesses belonging to him or his relatives.

Mash also claimed that Russian authorities had suspected that Nurmagomedov may have used the money he failed to pay into the coffers of the Russian state to purchase hotels and start-ups in Türkiye and the UAE.

Last week, Dagestan security forces raided a training facility owned by Nurmagomedov as part of an investigation into a series of terrorist attacks in the southern Russian republic in June. Another former MMA fighter, Gadzhimurad Kagirov, who was among a group of attackers in the city of Derbent and was killed during the ensuing counterterrorism action, had reportedly trained at the gym that was raided.

Commenting on the news, Nurmagomedov denied that Kagirov had been a member of his team, but noted that the wrestler may have previously trained at his gym for a couple of months.

July 01, 2024 at 06:15PM

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