MOSCOW — The Kremlin has called for an investigation after state TV broadcast mixed martial arts fights between children as young as 8.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the Russian region of Chechnya, entered three of his young sons into so-called exhibition bouts during a televised fight card Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Thursday that the fact that one fight between 10-year-olds finished with a technical knockout was “a reason for the appropriate oversight agencies to inquire about this incident.”

Peskov suggested the fights were a matter for children’s rights ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova.

Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov has told Russian news agency R-Sport that he will look into the fights, citing rules that children under 12 are not allowed to step into the ring.