A double Olympic wrestling champion appears to have struck gold again courtesy of a politician, claiming he received a $1 million reward from a Russian State Duma official for his heroics at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Newly-minted powerhouse Abdulrashid Sadulaev appears to have hit the jackport after dethroning former 97kg men’s freestyle king Kyle Snyder to be crowned a two-time gold medalist last week.
Raised in the hotbed of Dagestan, in common with UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, Sadulaev denied after his feat that he will follow in the footsteps of the former lightweight king by making a potentially lucrative switch to MMA that his bank account may now not need.
Speaking to the media about his triumph, the 25-year-old four-time world champion has disclosed a knockout gift from a high-ranking backer.
“I want to thank my fellow countryman from the Charodinsky district, State Duma deputy Magomed Hajiyev, who decided to encourage me with $1 million for winning the Tokyo Olympics,” Sadulaev told RIA.
“My coach Shamil Omarov did not go unnoticed [either].
“In turn, my coach and I will try to raise the bar and please our fans with new victories.”
Sadulaev was on the money with a photo of himself and Hajiyev basking in the glow of glory, and the man who has not tasted defeat since 2017 isn’t the first athlete to be afforded extravagant spoils for their achievements.
Upon becoming bantamweight champion by defeating Jose Aldo at UFC 251 last year, Petr Yan found a new Mercedes Benz outside the gym he trains at in Ekaterinburg.
UFC contender Khamzat Chimaev also received a luxury vehicle from the same German manufacturer, given to him by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and later written off by ‘Borz’ following a crash in the capital, Grozny.
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‘I still need my head’: Dagestani wrestling sensation Sadulaev ‘not planning MMA switch’ after becoming double Olympic champ