As a relative newbie in the fight promotion business, former lightweight champion Khabib Numagomedov says he’s open to learning from his former boss, Dana White. But ‘The Eagle’ isn’t quite willing to follow in the UFC president’s footsteps for absolutely everything.
In a recent interview, Khabib revealed that he decided to ban bookmakers and gambling sponsors from his promotion company Eagle FC and he explained his reason for doing so.
“We have a lot of sponsors that we work with and organize events with. We don’t need bookmakers. I believe gambling is more dangerous than alcohol. I think it’s worse to advertise bookmakers than alcohol,” Nurmgaomedov said in Russian.
“Bookmakers are ruining entire families. You know it yourselves. How many young guys go to their sites, stay there and get addicted? Entire families are ruined because of it.
“You know well how strong a gambling addiction is. It’s the same as a drug addiction. It would be like me advertising drugs here. Gambling and drug addiction are on the same level for me .
The 33-year-old AKA longtime talent knows the potential advertising revenue he loses without the presence of bookies, but he chooses to stick to his guns.
“They pay a lot of money. There are promotions that take their money, the bookmaker becomes their main sponsor and they don’t need it anymore.
“We’re not going in that direction,” he said. “We pay attention to the type of product we offer to our audience. The only thing we promote is sports. I don’t want people looking at us and seeing ads about alcohol or bookies. It is very important for me.
“I don’t want people finding out about a bookmaker by watching Eagle FC and then going to their site and becoming addicted. That’s very important.
Khabib also criticized the presence of ring girls, saying they are the “most useless people in martial arts“. This is another position he has held for several years now.
Eagle FC’s most recent show was on August 21 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. There, Diyar Nurgozhay won the promotion’s light heavyweight title with a decisive victory over Konstantin Andreitsev in the main event. Imam-Shapi Mukhtarov defeated Azamat Dzhigkaev in the co-main to grab the promotion’s interim welterweight belt. It is not yet known when the promotion will hold its next event.