It is not every day that a UFC fighter outs himself as a polygamist.
During a recent interview with the “Let Me Interrupt You” YouTube channel, Zhalgas Zhumagulov revealed that he is currently married to two different women.
“Yes, I have two wives—two wives and six children,” Zhumagulov said.
Polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time. Polygyny is when a man is married to multiple wives at a time, and polyandry refers to when a woman is married to multiple husbands. Some societies tolerate or encourage the practice, while others have outlawed it. In some cases, religious views factor into the decision, with Roman Catholics condemning polygamy, while Islam allows men to take up to four concurrent wives.
In the United States, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mormons practiced polygamy from 1847 to 1857. The U.S. government made polygamy illegal in response to the LDS Church, and it remains unlawful across all 50 states.
Though polygamy is technically illegal in Kazakhstan since the Soviet authorities banned it a century ago, the practice has been decriminalized since 1998 and is widely accepted among elites and powerful politicians. And while there are no official statistics on how widespread polygamy is in Kazakhstan, one unofficial poll suggested that nearly 40 percent of males were in favor of polygamy.
When asked whether it was difficult to live with two wives, the 33-year-old flyweight noted that he has gotten “used to it.”
“In principle, it’s normal. At first there were challenges but now everything is fine.”
After losing his first two UFC fights, Zhumagulov earned an elusive victory in June when he defeated fellow flyweight Jerome Rivera by submission in the opening round. Asked about the fight during the interview, Zhumagulov noted that he has a strategy when considering which of his wives to return to after the fight.
”Well, where did I leave from? If I left, for example, from my second wife, I go to the first. If I left the first, I go to the second. A day here, a day there.”
Zhumagulov was knocked out by Manel Kape over the weekend at UFC Vegas 44.