UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko hit back at Khabib Nurmagomedov for her recent comments on ring girls in combat sports.
Khabib made headlines last month after expressing his belief that “ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts.” The comments sparked a fierce reaction from longtime UFC girl Arianny Celeste, who said on Instagram that “you don’t have to love me, but you will respect me.” Another UFC ring girl Luciana Andrade also applauded the former lightweight champion, saying her role was not just to announce the rounds but to “represent the brand (UFC) when and where. it was necessary “.
This is not the first time that Nurmagomedov has voiced a controversial opinion regarding women in MMA. In 2018, Khabib told an audience in Saudi Arabia – a nation that has only granted women the right to drive for a few years – that aspiring combatants should instead “end their husbands” at home.
Ring girls, and their place in combat sports, however, is a complicated subject, eliciting many different opinions. In 2016, then-WBC welterweight world champion Mikaela Lauren called the ring girls “sexist” and demanded that for her next fight they be replaced with a male equivalent. And in 2019, when the UFC came to Melbourne, Australia, the mayor of that city expressed his desire to see ring girls banned from the event because, in his opinion, “it’s time to move on. “.
While some would like to see the end of ring girls, others fiercely defend their role in the tradition of combat sports. Following Khabib’s comments, Michael Bisping defended ring girls as a “historic” institution in combat sports while agreeing that they are of no use in martial arts.
Today, one of the most successful mixed martial artists of all time, Valentina Shevchenko, came to the defense of the ring girls. In a interview with James Lynch, “The Bullet” criticized Khabib for his recent comments and said that without ring girls, the UFC would not be the success it is today.
“They were from the start of the UFC, they were from the start of everything,” Shevchenko (h / t MiddleEasy) said. “And to say that they don’t belong to martial arts, that’s so bad. It’s not just because they’re a part. And it’s kind of like, without all of that, no fighter would be in the position they are in right now. If there were no ring girls, there would be no lights, fans, sounds. It’s just boring, it’s just boring to see. But all these little details, they fill the whole picture. That’s why there is no discussion – ring girls are part of the biggest promotions, the smallest promotions of anything.
You can watch Valentina’s interview below:
Do you agree with Valentina Shevchenko?