‘I don’t care’: Ex-champ Nurmagomedov insists there’s ‘no reason’ for ring girls, vows UFC’s Dana White can ‘do whatever he wants’
Retired champion Nurmagomedov caused a stir with his remarks about girls carrying out scantily-clad promotional duties at MMA events, with former arch-rival Conor McGregor and high-profile models responding.
The lightweight king suggested that the girls had no justifiable function at events and confessed to feeling uncomfortable around them at a promotion he attended with his late father, legendary coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Arguably the most outspoken opposition came from UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko, who contested the unbeaten legend's views by describing what she sees as the importance of the girls to MMA.Also on rt.com Ex-UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes aim at ring girls, calls them ‘the most useless people in martial arts’
Stubborn Nurmagomedov is clearly unperturbed by the variety of opinions on the issue, explaining that he is not one to fret about the reception he receives for speaking his mind.
"I never think about 'oh, maybe people are going to like this or not,'" said Nurmagomedov, speaking during his mini-tour of England.
"I know, all the time, I say a lot of strange things too, but I don't care. This is my opinion: I'm born with this, I grew up with this and I have [delivered in] straight [style] my opinion.
"Sometimes, when I say something, people don't agree with this but I don't care because I know I am right in my mind.Also on rt.com ‘Sorry we make you uncomfortable’: Stunning UFC ring girls react to Nurmagomedov as more fighters join McGregor in MMA debate
"Everybody has their own views on something. For example, a couple of months ago someone spoke about my own promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship (EFC), and asked why there are no ring girls there.
"I said it is because, in my opinion, there is no reason [for them]. Some people don't agree with this, but who cares? I don't care because I have my opinion."
Popular Nurmagomedov is rarely shy to discuss causes he cares passionately about, from French president Emmanuel Macron's remarks about Islam to events in his homeland of Dagestan.Also on rt.com ‘Let him dictate his rules in Dagestan’: Russian boxer Semenova lashes out at Khabib over ring girls comments
Dana White, the bullish president of the UFC, failed to persuade Nurmagomedov to return to action following his victory over Justin Gaethje in October, and his star draw is no pushover when it comes to the EFC.
"This is my promotion and I make decisions," explained Nurmagomedov. "I'm going to do whatever I want, not Dana or other people.
"Dana can do whatever he wants. Sometimes he does things that I don't understand, too, but I never judge him – this is his decision because his name is Dana White, my name is Khabib. If I have an opinion, I just say it."Also on rt.com ‘Beauty will save the world’: UFC champ Shevchenko shares snap with ring girls, wins big-name support after Nurmagomedov comments