Khabib Nurmagomedov (USA Today Sports)
USA Today Sports

Khabib explains new ban on Eagle FC: “More dangerous than alcohol”

✔ Former UFC champion slams bookmakers: "Whole families get ruined because of it!"

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says his fans will never see any sports betting sites partner up with his MMA organization Eagle FC!

The UFC icon slammed sports betting sites in a recent interview, calling them “dangerous” and said they are “ruining families”. The former titleholder opened up about his decision to refuse to work with betting sites and bookmakers, despite being offered large sums of sponsorship money.

“We have plenty of good sponsors that we work with and put on events,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said. “We don’t need bookmakers. I believe that gambling is more dangerous than alcohol. I think it’s worse to advertise gambling more than alcohol. Bookmakers ruin entire families, you know that yourselves. How many young guys go on their sites, stay on them, and become addicted? Whole families get ruined because of it. You know well how strong of an addiction gambling is. It’s the same as a drug addiction. It would be the same if I were to advertise drugs here. Gambling and drug addiction are on the same level for me.”

“They pay big money,” Khabib continued. “There are promotions that take their money, the bookmaker becomes their main sponsor and they don’t need any more. We’re not moving in that direction. We pay attention to the type of product we give our audience. The only thing we promote is sport. I don’t want the people that watch us and see alcohol or bookmakers ads. It’s very important to me. I don’t want people to discover a bookmaker from watching Eagle FC then go to their site and develop an addiction. That’s very important.”

It’s not the first time Khabib has made business decisions based on his moral compass. “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov has also opted to not use ring girls at Eagle FC, something that caused quite the backlash when he explained this decision.

“Look, I don’t want to offend anyone. Ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts,” Nurmagomedov said (translation via Fighting Flashback). “What is their function? You can show that it is the second round on the screen. Do they develop a sport? Or they help people to see that it is the second round now? What are they doing? Tell me, please.”

Eagle FC has held numerous shows in mostly Europe but has also put on shows in the United States, showcasing fighters like former UFC champion Junior dos Santos and The Ultimate Fighter 1 veteran Diego Sanchez.

There are no set plans to return to the States and Khabib is now helping his friend and teammate Islam Makhachev prepare for a vacant title bout against the former champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October.


What do you think of Khabib’s decision?



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