Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has reasoned why he won’t be signing any female fighters with his promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship, for the time being.
Following his retirement after his successful title defence against Justin Gaethje by second round submission at UFC 254, Khabib purchased Gorilla Fighting Championship for $1 million and rebranded it as Eagle FC. In its first year, the promotion has held four events, also signing notable names like Kevin Lee, Rashad Evans, Renan Barao and ‘Big Foot’ Silva.
EFC will be holding its first event on American soil next year on January 28th, which will be headlined by a heavyweight matchup between kickboxing legend Tyrone Spong and Sergei Kharitonov. The promotion currently has seven men’s divisions, but won’t be featuring any women’s divisions for the time being. Although that could change if the Dagestani finds world-class talent.
‘We Will Wait And See’
Speaking to the media in Miami (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), Khabib explained why he won’t have women’s divisions in his promotion for now.
“I am like, we can watch what Julianna Pena did with Amanda Nunes [at UFC 269],” Khabib said. “But Julianna Pena, she’s not like greatness or something like that. She just beat Amanda Nunes like [on the day]. We can watch and not many good [female] fighters all around the world. There are only like five or six of them. And so we will wait and see.”
Earlier this year, Khabib faced a lot of criticism for saying that he won’t hire ring girls for his promotion because they are ‘unnecessary’. ‘The Eagle’ was grilled by arch-rival Conor McGregor for his comments, while notable ring girls, including Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer, also fired back at him.
Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov that there’s a lack of good female fighters?