Mounir Lazzez has spoken out after heaping praise on suspected Irish mobster Daniel Kinahan.
Lazzez was in action this past Saturday night (April 16) on the UFC Vegas 51 card. He took on Ange Loosa and emerged victorious via unanimous decision. It wasn’t Lazzez’s performance that got everyone’s attention, however.
During his post-fight interview, Lazzez thanked his “brother” Kinahan, who founded MTK Global. The company represents Lazzez.
“I would love to thank my coaches and my brother, Daniel Kinahan. Without him, I would never be the man that I am today and to my career to this point. Thanks a lot.”
The praise comes just days after the Treasury Department announced sanctions against Kinahan along with other members of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group. The group has allegedly been involved in murder, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and firearms trafficking.
On top of that, the Treasury Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Daniel Kinahan.
Mounir Lazzez was asked about shouting out the suspected mobster during his post-fight media scrum (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“That man is a friend and adviser. He’s the one who picked me up every time that life kick me down. He’s a real man of his word. He’s the one who teach me what does it mean, family, a real friend. It’s someone I cannot thank him enough for what I am today and who I am today. He teach me the real manner. He teach me how to be responsible in my family and my friend. That’s why I said that, all the credit and shoutout to him.”
Lazzez insisted he didn’t know that Kinahan is a wanted man.
“No, I don’t know that.”
We’ve seen other MMA fighters have ties to Kinahan, such as Darren Till. Back in March 2020, Till took to social media to rant about those who were focusing on his friendship with Kinahan.
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