UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov refused to waver when it came to ring girls.
Nurmagomedov talked about his controversial comments about ring girls on Wednesday and refused to back down over the controversy. In August, he said he wouldn’t have ring girls in his mixed martial arts promotion because they were “the most useless in martial arts.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after teammate Islam Makhachev’s victory against Thiago Moises in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC))
The undefeated retired mixed martial artist said he didn’t care about the backlash, according to Bloody Elbow.
“Couple month ago, someone ask me about… I have promotion. I have my own promotion Eagle Fighting Championship and someone ask about why there’s no ring girls there. I say because I think (there’s) no reason. It’s my opinion,” he said.
“Some people don’t agree with this, but who cares? I don’t care, because I have my opinion. Because this is my promotion and I make decision. Not [UFC President Dana White] or not other people, you know?
“Dana can do whatever he want. I’m gonna do whatever I want. Sometime, he do something, like, I don’t understand him, too. But I never judge him. This is his decision because his name is Dana White. My name is Khabib. I never watch what people think about (me). If I have opinion, I just say it. That’s it.”
Nurmagomedov, a devout Muslim, said in August there would be no ring girls in his Eagle Fighting Championship promotion.
UFC Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste introduces a round during the UFC 227 event inside Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
“Look, I don’t want to offend anyone: Ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts. What is their function? I have a question. You can show that it is the second round on the screen,” he told reporters, via MMA Junkie.
“I realize that is a history (behind ring card girls). History knows many mistakes. We read history to avoid mistakes of the past in the future. If we look in the history, it says they are useless. That is my personal opinion. Dana White maybe likes it. Maybe you do, too. But my name is not Dana. My name is Khabib.”
The undefeated retired mixed martial artist said he wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing the scantily clad women in the cage, citing cultural differences.
“I sit with my father (at an event). Every person has his own preferences – the culture and values. I come to fight night (and) sit with my father. These (ring card girls) are passing by and showing people that it is the second round. But no one looks at the (round number). I feel uncomfortable with my father. I am not against it. If you want, you can do it. But don’t impose it to me. Do it aside. There are the designated places for it. I think we must not mix all of it. This is my (personal) opinion,” he added.
In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov, right, fights with Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, Louisiana, during a lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242 in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Khaled, File)
Nurmagomedov launched Eagle Fighting Championship in December. He hopes the company will end up becoming a feeder system to UFC and push MMA into the Olympics in 2028.