UFC Welterweight Questioned After Thanking Daniel Kinahan In Post-Win Speech

The U.S. government set a $5 million reward for information that could lead to Daniel Kinahan’s arrest, and anyone that has ties with him are getting grilled.

That’s what happened to UFC welterweight Mounir Lazzez when he was asked to clarify his shoutout of Kinahan in his post-win speech at UFC Vegas 51 on Saturday. When a reporter informed him of the charges Kinahan is facing, the fighter said he wasn’t aware of the news.

“For me it’s a simple thing, a friend outside the gym,” Lazzez said. “I meet him for advice and he helped me throughout my career.”

On Saturday, Lazzez defeated Ange Loosa by unanimous decision. And after his hand was raised for the victory, he said in the post-fight interview:

“I would love to thank my coaches and my brother Daniel Kinahan,” Lazzez said on the ESPN broadcast. “Without him, I would never be the man who I am today and my career at this point. Thanks a lot.”

Kinahan was recently sanctioned by the U.S. government and is facing allegatios of running of one of the world’s biggest cartels, drug trafficking and money laundering along with an alleged gang war in Dublin and Spain that left 18 people dead.

Kinahan has become a large figure in the combat sports world, and reportedly is the founder of MTK Global, a boxing and MMA management company.

On Thursday, MTK Global issued a statement:

“MTK Global will comply fully with the sanctions made by the US government against Daniel Kinahan.

“MTK parted ways with Mr Kinahan in February 2017. He has had no interest in the business since then, and will have no future involvement with us.

“MTK operates ethically, transparently and lawfully. We will cooperate fully with all authorities and assist with any ongoing investigations.”

UFC President Dana White declined to comment to Yahoo Sports.

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