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‘I don’t think the Almighty is happy I fight for money’: UFC champ Khabib hints at unease over fighting and his faith

‘I don’t think the Almighty is happy I fight for money’: UFC champ Khabib hints at unease over fighting and his faith
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the world’s most popular Muslim athletes, has suggested that “the Almighty” would not look approvingly on his violence in the octagon.

The undefeated Dagestani fighter, 31, is a devout Muslim and often shares religious messages with his millions of followers on social media.

He posted one such religious musing on Monday, writing in Russian: “The only thing you will never achieve is the satisfaction of people. The priority in all matters and undertakings must be the satisfaction of the Almighty.”

Responding to the post, one person asked: “Do you think that the Almighty is satisfied with you? Taking part in haram (forbidden) fights for money?”

“I don’t think so,” Nurmagomedov replied, hinting at a struggle to reconcile his fighting career with his religion. 

READ MORE: Conor McGregor laid out his UFC comeback path in Moscow, but can he really come full circle and beat Khabib in 2020?

Among Nurmagomedov's most famous poses - seen at press events, weigh-ins and after bouts - is when he stretches his arms upwards, fingers pointed toward the sky in a gesture of religious thanks. 

RT

He has also often spoken of using his success as a platform for good while sharing his beliefs. Back in April of 2018, just before he claimed the UFC interim lightweight title, Nurmagomedov explained that “there is nothing else more important to me than being clear with Allah. And being clear with Allah is the No. 1 most hard thing in life.

“If I fight and I become famous, now I can talk to people more. I can say, ‘Do this, this and this,’ because a lot of people are watching. I want to be a good example, a good role model.

“You have to be [a champion] outside the cage too. This is my goal."

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More recently during the build-up to his title unification fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov spoke about the riches he has amassed from his cage career, but said they enabled him to “help a lot of people.”

“Everybody likes money. But this is not everything for me at this point, but of course money is important,” he said.

“Money can be dangerous too, if it goes inside your mind. But if you have money in your hands, this is good, you can help a lot of people.” 

READ MORE: Money, ‘a lion on his back’ & dealing with the pressure – Khabib has final say before UFC 242

Nurmagomedov is next tipped to be in action in March or April of next year against longtime lightweight challenger Tony Ferguson.

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