As a relative newbie in the fight promotion business, former lightweight champion Khabib Numagomedov says he’s willing to learn from his former boss, Dana White. But ‘The Eagle’ isn’t entirely willing to follow in the footsteps of the UFC president for absolutely everything.
In a recent interview, Khabib revealed he’d decided to ban bookmakers and gambling sponsors from his promotion company Eagle FC and he explained his reason for doing so.
“We have plenty of sponsors that we work with and put on events. We don’t need bookmakers. I believe that gambling is more dangerous than alcohol. I think it’s worse to advertise bookmakers than alcohol,” Nurmgaomedov said in Russian.
“Bookmakers ruin entire families. You know that yourselves. How many young guys go on their sites, stay on them and become addicted? Whole families get ruined because of it.
“You know well how strong of an addiction gambling is. It’s the same as a drug addiction. It’d be the same as if I were to advertise drugs here. Gambling and drug addiction are on the same level for me.”
The 33-year-old longtime AKA talent knows the potential ad revenue he’s losing without the presence of bookmakers, but he chooses to stick to his guns.
“They pay big money. There are promotions that take their money, the bookmaker becomes their main sponsor and they don’t need anymore.
“We’re not moving in that direction,” he said. “We pay attention to the type of product we give to our audience. The only thing we promote is sport. I don’t want the people that watch us and see alcohol or bookmaker ads. It’s very important to me.
“I don’t want people to discover a bookmaker from watching Eagle FC then go on their site and develop an addiction. That’s very important.”
Khabib also criticized the presence of ring girls, saying they are the “most useless people in martial arts.” It’s another position he’s held fast on for several years now.
Eagle FC’s most recent show took place on August 21st in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. There Diyar Nurgozhay captured the promotion’s light heavyweight title with a decision win 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. No word yet on when the promotion will hold their next event.