UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagamedov is Coming in For Criticism After Some Interesting Comments on Women Fighting in MMA…
Khabib Nurmagamedov is an absolutely insane fighter. There’s little doubt that he’s the most dominant competitor on the UFC roster today, with a ludicrous unbeaten record of 27-0. He’s pretty much dominated and brutalized everybody who has been put in front of him, including the UFC’s golden goose Conor McGregor.
Hailing from the federal Republic of Dagestan in Russia, Nurmagamedov is intensely proud of where he comes from. He is fiercely loyal to his family, region and religion (he’s also the UFC’s first Muslim champion). All of this has combined to win him a legion of fans, who recognize his brilliance.
However, his views on some matters have to be questioned a little bit. At a recent Q&A session, he was pressed for his opinions on women’s place in MMA. Basically, he told them to stay in the kitchen.
"Be a fighter inside your home. All the time, finish your husband." – Khabib to a woman asking advice on starting a fighting career. pic.twitter.com/7BN3KB3SRb
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) December 6, 2018
Stay At Home
The likes of Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Rose Namajunas, Cris Cyborg, and Amanda Nunes might not agree with this. Khabib essentially believes that women have no place fighting, and should instead look after the home. He told a woman asking advice on starting a career:
“Be a fighter inside your home. All the time, finish your husband.”
That just doesn’t come across well. While it must be respected that Khabib comes from a different value system than that of western audiences, these sort of comments could be a barrier to him establishing mainstream success in the future. In the age of #MeToo and all of that, it’s very difficult to get away with giving your opinion like this in Europe and America. Then again, Khabib isn’t from Europe and America. He’s massively popular among Muslim MMA fans in the Caucasus and the Middle East, so he’s probably not that worried at all.
Not the First
Khabib is by no means the first superstar MMA fighter from Russia to openly express his outdated opinion. Bellator’s Fedor Emelianenko is widely believed to be one of the best fighters never to fight for the UFC. Way back in 2015, ‘The Last Emperor’ was asked what does he think about women in combat sports. He told WHOATV:
“Women shouldn’t compete in UFC/MMA because this sport is for men. There are a lot of sports where women look like women – like gymnastics, water sports, maybe some athletics.”
He doubled down on this belief earlier this year when he has attended the amateur MMA championships in Russia. When asked why no female athletes were competing (he’s the president of their MMA governing body), he said:
“Personally, I am not a supporter of women’s fights.”
Despite the challenges that they face just to get their careers off of the ground, some Russian women have become extremely popular and successful. Yana Kunitskaya made her MMA debut in a title fight against Cris Cyborg. Meanwhile, Anastasia Yankova is one of the most popular female fighters on the Bellator roster.
Hopefully, women’s MMA will continue to grow in Russia.