MTK Global has abruptly ceased operations due to the US government sanctions against founder Daniel Kinahan. The Dubai based Irishman is alleged to be the leader of a drugs cartel.
MTK Global had numerous MMA fighters on the roster who are either based in Asia or competing in Asia. Notable names include Mounir Lazzez, Su Mudaerji, Bokang Masunyane, Young Jun Kim and Ahmed Mujtaba.
Last weekend Lazzez launched a fairly robust defence of Kinahan. The Moroccan lavished praise on the wanted Irishman in the aftermath of his win at UFC Vegas 51.
Mounir Lazzez was asked about his #UFCVegas51 post-win shoutout of suspected Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan, who was sanctioned by the U.S. government and had a $5 million bounty placed on his head this week.
Here's what he had to say: pic.twitter.com/Vsf0JTcrhX
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) April 17, 2022
Lazzez did not appear to enjoy being subjected to some critical questions at the post fight press conference. It marred what was an otherwise perfect day for the Dubai based welterweight.
Meanwhile Masunyane is in action tomorrow night at ONE: ‘Reloaded’. The South African is set to face Jarred Brooks in a strawweight fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In a statement put out yesterday MTK Global described the recent criticism the company has come under as ‘unfair’:
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While this won’t have any impact on the fighter’s contracts with their respective promotions it is not clear what level of support they were receiving from MTK Global. It could well mean a reduction in the amount of sponsorship income and an increase in the level of training costs for the likes of Lazzez and Mudaerji.
Lazzez has been outspoken in his support of Kinahan which has put him in the spotlight. He is based in Dubai and was one of numerous MTK Global fighters to be showcased on UAE Warriors events.
While MTK Global’s support of MMA has flown under the radar the company has been involved with some of the biggest names in boxing. Tyson Fury point blank refused to discuss the topic at a press conference yesterday to promote his upcoming heavyweight title fight with Dillian Whyte.
Tyson Fury clearly on the ropes over Daniel Kinahan here. This interviewer should be commended on his tenacity in the face of vanilla answers. pic.twitter.com/8wNQKXUdf5
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) April 19, 2022
Fury definitely was managed by MTK Global but claims to have cut all ties with the company two years ago. But he was photographed with Kinahan in Dubai as recently as February.
Some of the best British boxers were managed by MTK Global including Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor, Carl Frampton, Terry Flanagan, Charlie Edwards, Rocky Fielding, Hughie Fury, Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Jamel Herring.
As well as imposing sanctions on Kinahan the US government also offered a $5 million USD reward to anyone offering information that could lead to his arrest and conviction. For many years he appears to have been a generous benefactor to several boxers and mixed martial artists but those days have come to an abrupt end.