People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called on the UFC to “evaluate its relationship” with Khabib Nurmagomedov after “loathsome” footage resurfaced of the Dagestani champion wrestling a chained-up bear.
PETA’s criticism comes after video footage resurfaced showing the UFC champion wrestling with a chained-up bear. The three separate videos — one from when Nurmagomedov was a child, while the others were posted online in 2014 and 2019 — showed the UFC lightweight champion wrestling with brown bears that have been chained and muzzled.
”PETA encourages the UFC to evaluate its relationship with Mr. Nurmagomedov until he shows a clear change in attitude and a commitment to showing animals the respect that they deserve,” a PETA spokesperson told Business Insider. “Wrestling with a chained bear is loathsome behavior that shows an utter lack of respect for and consideration of who these animals are.”
Several petitions have since been launched to demand that the bear be moved to a sanctuary and for the UFC sever ties with Nurmagomedov.
This is not the first time that Nurmagomedov has faced criticism from Western-based media outlets and organizations. In 2018, the UFC champion was seen in a video posted online paying a homeless man to do push-ups. The video was later removed from Nurmagomedov’s social media accounts.
The UFC champion has also been criticized for his association with Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.