Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced the US launch of Eagle FC, his new MMA promotion, during a press conference in Miami, FL on Wednesday night. While speaking into the microphone, Nurmagomedov was asked if there were any plans for upcoming women’s matches.
His answer may surprise you.
“I was like, we can see what Julianna Pena did to Amanda Nunes [at UFC 269]. But Julianna Pena, she doesn’t like grandeur or anything like that. She just beat Amanda Nunes like [on the day]. We can watch and not much good [female] fighters around the world. There were only five or six of them. And so we will wait and see,” he said.
The shocking part is that he seems open to potential fights, despite his previous views on the role of women in combat sports.
The promotion, mostly men from Russia and Dagestan, will incorporate women commentators of color as former UFC fighter Felicia Spencer will be in the booth. This is a huge step up from the UFC as the world’s biggest and most popular MMA tournament has yet to feature women in a fight night or PPV, even though Laura Sanko has made her debut in commentary for the show. Dana White’s Contender Series.
Nurmagomedov has previously said controversial things about women, includes a comment from 2014 where he says women (and alcohol) spoil athletes.
“There are fighters in America who can drink on Fridays and Saturdays,” he told Russian media ProSports.ru, (translated by MixedMartialArts.com) “After an event, I saw it myself in hotels – 80% of them were already drunk. Not champions but loyalists who like one win, two lose. A few times they called me to the club with them. I told them I was a Muslim. And they said like ‘Come on, we know two Muslims and they visit the clubs with us all the time!’ … Alcohol and girls get in the way of an athlete, they spoil him and make him weak.”
Just this year, Nurmagomedov caused a stir when he declared “ring girls are the most unnecessary people in martial arts,” at a press conference in Russia.
So while many won’t be surprised by the lack of WMMA matches, some might be shocked to hear he’ll be considering it.
https://www.mmaweekly.com/khabib-nurmagomedov-reveals-thoughts-on-wmma-fights-at-eagle-fc Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his thoughts on WMMA matches at Eagle FC