This is the shocking moment a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and his pal were caught on camera throwing a pet cat between them.
An eyewitness with a smartphone filmed Albert ‘Machete’ Duraev, 29, and his pal, also believed to be an MMA fighter, throwing and catching the poor cat at least 11 times.
They grew more ambitious with each throw and, by the end of the stunt, the petrified puss was somersaulting through the air in the village of Avtury in the Shalinsky District of south-western Russia’s Chechen Republic.
Animal lovers condemned the pair but they were defended by Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Russian republic of Chechnya, who is a huge MMA fan.
The video was posted on social media by Duraev who is of Chechen origin but now lives in the south-western Russian city of Volgograd.
Duraev, ranked the world’s 59th best MMA middleweight, shared it on Instagram with the caption: "An ordinary day in Avtury. It is toy cat."
The cat can be heard miaowing in panic as it is sent flying through the air while one of the men commented: "He’s like a rocket!"
Eventually, they tired of their ‘fun’ and put the poor cat back on the ground where it appeared to be too traumatised to move.
Duraev is seen petting his cat lovingly at the end of the clip but angry animal lovers condemned the fighter.
One shocked commented: "So it is not enough to work out in the gym anymore? They could have done something worthwhile instead of this"
‘Wow.mrs.olga’ said: "F**kers, they don’t have brains and never will have." while ‘larisageorgievskaya’ added: "95% of killers and maniacs torture animals."
However, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a big MMA fan and friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin , defended the fighters.
Mr Kadyrov said: ""Probably every dad throws his child in the air like this, accurately, with love.
"The guys threw the cat the same way, carefully and playfully. Duraev is a real Muslim, and he would never hurt an animal."
Mr Kadyrov was criticised for putting his three young sons into the ring to fight in an MMA tournament on the eve of his birthday in 2016.
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