Earlier this year Khabib Nurmagomedov made quite a bit of controversy when he slammed the utility of ring girls in the sport of mixed martial arts. Bless his heart, Khabib actually thought they had utility:
“I don’t want to offend anyone, ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts,” said Khabib.
“There are people who understand martial arts and they are walking. This is my personal opinion Do they develop the sport? Or they help people to see it is the second round now?
“I come to fight night, sit with my father. These people are passing by and showing people that it is the second round. But no one looks at the plate [sign].
“I feel uncomfortable with my father. I am not against it. If you want you can do it, but don’t impose it on me, do it aside. There are the designated places for it.”
Nurmagomedov’s promotion Eagle FC notably doesn’t utilize ring girls.
This of course prompted a response from famed UFC ring girls Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer. And one Conor McGregor piggy backed on.
Now Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko is piping in in Khabib’s defense:
“The girls are showing the number of the round,” Emelianenko told Telesport. “The only [thing] is to dress them more decent. You know I don’t have [anything to do with it]. I have enough problems and affairs of my team and my family to not fill my head with stupid things.”
But Emelianenko also shares Khabib’s patriarchal values and once got into really hot water after suggesting women should stay home and raise kids.
“I respect the girls who defend the country’s honor at the Olympics, in wrestling, boxing. But I do not support female MMA. A woman must take care of the house, raise her children and be feminine. There a lot of different sports which help her in that, but MMA is not one of them.”
Jury’s out on if this is just a part of the Russian culture. Would you care for ring girls that weren’t in bathing suits ? Would an infographic be an adequate replacement? Pipe in in the comments
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.