UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t a fan of the sport’s Octagon girls.
The former lightweight champion discussed the longtime tradition of ring girls in at a recent Moscow press conference and declared, “Ring girls are the most unnecessary people in martial arts.”
Nurmagomedov recently purchased Russian MMA promotion Gorilla Fighting Championship, and said he will not have ring girls in his re-branded, “Eagle Fighting Championship.”
Despite warning he didn’t want to “offend anyone,” Nurmagomedov asked, “What is their function? I have a question: You can show that it’s the second round on the screen.
“I think they’re the most useless people in martial arts. What function? How? Do they develop the sport? Or do they help people to see that it is the second round now? What are they doing? Tell me, please.”
“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.
“[UFC president] Dana White maybe likes it. Maybe you do, too. But my name is not Dana. My name is Khabib.”
Nurmagomedov, a devout Muslim, retired last year at 29-0 as one of the top fighters in the history of the sport.
The 32-year-old retired Russian fighter went on to explain why he feels “uncomfortable” with ring girls present at events — using his late father and trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov as an example.
“For example, I sit with my father [at a fight]. Every person has his own preferences — the culture and values. I come to fight night [and] sit with my father,” Nurmagomedov said. “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.”
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