Khabib Nurmagomedov recently criticized Khamzat Chimaev for his infamous botched weight cut that forced several last minute changes to UFC 279. The retired former UFC champion questioned Chimaev’s team, saying he badly needs more Muslims around him, especially now that he’s becoming “famous and rich.”
“If you are a Muslim, you should have good people around you – Muslims who can say: ‘Hey, don’t do this,’” Nurmagomedov said. “I followed what was happening with his weight and looked at his team. There are no Muslims around him and this is very bad. Because if you are a Muslim, you need good, strong people around you. [They] will say: “Come back, do this.”
Chimaev’s longtime teammate Reza Madadi has since posted a lengthy response to those comments. The UFC veteran and fellow Muslim respectfully shot down Khabib’s points in an Instagram post:
“Dear @khabib_nurmagomedov , my muslim brother ❤️ ,” Madadi wrote. “Firstly I would like say I have a huge respect for you as an athlete and for all your achievements in our beloved sport of MMA. I am also very proud of how you represent our religion, belief and God in all your interviews and appearances.
“But, I would like to give my point on your opinion on @khamzat_chimaev not having a muslim team around him and that was supposed to be the reason of him missing the weight. I have to disagree with you on this part.
“Not only have Khamzat had muslim friends and teammates such as me around him from day 1, but also from many other religions and backgrounds, The have been people that have been with him from the start, giving him love, sharing blood, sweat and joy and done everything to bring him to where he is now.”
Madadi went on to say that having a specific religion won’t make anyone perfect, and also pointed out how Khabib himself had numerous issues with weight cuts in the past.
“Being a muslim doesn’t mean we are perfect and flawless, trust me, I have done many mistakes in my life as many people know. With all due respect, so have you,” Madadi wrote.
“So mentioning having muslim team will make you perfect, I have to disagree, having a team that cares about you. in good times and bad times, no matter what belief or religion they have is far more important. And that is something Khamzat has.
“There are several issues that made Khamzat miss the weight but those reasons stay in the team. But he is still young and he will learn from his mistakes,” he wrote. “If a big Champion like you, did learn from your mistake when you missed weight, I have no doubt that our brother Khamzat will do as well.”