Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken out against the spread of sports betting sponsorship. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
‘Worse than alcoholism’
Former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says he wouldn’t consider partnering with Sportsbooks at any time.
We don’t need bookmakers.”
“We have a lot of good sponsors with whom we work and organize events with them,” Nurmagomedov said. “We don’t need bookmakers.”
“The Eagle” delivered its verdict after being asked why a Russian promotional company Eagle Fighting Championship (Eagle FC) did not work with bookmakers. Khabib concluded that working with game operators would be worse than promoting alcoholism.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and his beliefs
Throughout his career Nurmagomedov was famous for maintaining a highly disciplined regiment. He is also a devout Sunni Muslim and, according to the Holy Qur’an, Muslims are prohibited from gambling.
Once the most feared man in the octagon, Nurmagomedov believed that bookmakers had the power to destroy lives.
“Betting destroys entire families,” Nurmagomedov said. “How many young people go to their sites and stay on and become addicted?”
Entire families are destroyed because of it.”
“Entire families are devastated because of it. You know very well how powerful gambling addiction is. It is the same as 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.”
The retired champ also recently noted that Eagle FC will remain very selective with its partners and focus.
“We pay attention to the type of product we offer our audience,” he said. “The only thing we encourage is sports.”
“I don’t want people watching us watching alcohol ads or betting. It’s very important to me. I don’t want people to find a bookmaker from watching Eagle FC and then go to their site and get addicted.”
Feelings from other fighters
Nurmagomedov’s latest speech echoes that of two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who said in February that he would not support partnerships or advertising in the gaming industry.
Fury himself has a long history of mental struggles, including depression and alcoholism, and has been vocal about the effects of addiction, even since retiring from the sport in April.
Fury himself has also partnered with SBTech, a B2B game supplier as a brand ambassador
However, John’s father Fiore was appointed as a brand ambassador by freebets.com in March. Fury himself also partnered with B2B game supplier SBTech as a brand ambassador at ICE London three years before his comments.
Nurmagomedov has not appeared in the ring since he fought Justin Gaetje on October 24, 2020. His fight – and the UFC – was the most watched match of 2018 against prolific Conor McGregor, which ended with the Russian’s fourth-round introduction. He has a career record of 29-0-0.
Nurmagomedov also has two cousins, Abubakar and Omar, who are still active in the UFC.