Where there's combat sport, there's ring girls.
It's a combination that seemingly goes hand in hand, with glamorous models an integral part of fight nights as they parade between rounds.
But they shouldn't be. Well, not according to former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov anyway.
Khabib, who retired undefeated after beating Justin Gaethje in October 2020, is now in the world of promoting and has started his own MMA organisation. He has held several successful events in his native Russia, none of which have been graced with the presence of ring girls.
When asked about the issue in a press conference, the 32-year-old replied: “Look, I don’t want to offend anyone, ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts," he said.
"What is their purpose? I have a question. You can show that it is the second round on the screen.
“I realise that is a history. History knows many mistakes. We read history to avoid mistakes of the past in the future. If we look in the history, it says they are useless. That is my personal opinion.
“For example, I sit with my father. Every person has his own preferences, the culture and values. I come to Fight Night, sit with my father. These people are passing by and showing that it is the second round. But no one looks at the plate.
“I feel uncomfortable with my father. I am not against it. If you want you can do it, but don’t impose it to me, do it aside. There are the designated places for it. I think we must not mix all of it. This is my private opinion."
Inevitably, the comments led to many fans taking to social media to accuse Khabib of sexism, but he insisted he had nothing against women, just the way they are utilised at events.
"I don't think we should put together those things (ring girls and MMA). We are here to develop the sport. Please don't think I have anything against women, men and women are created for each other.
"Everything has its own place. There are some limits to everything that we do, we show, we speak. There should always be some limits. And for me ring girls have nothing to do with MMA."
Khabib of course, was no stranger to controversy or strong comments during his own stellar fighting career.
Most notoriously, in October 2018 he received a nine-month suspension and a $500,000 fine for his actions after beating Connor McGregor, proceeding to jump over the octagon fence and attack the Irish fighter's cornerman, Dillon Danis.
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