UFC Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko went out of her way to interact with the Ring Card Girls working at UFC 266. She wanted them to know they were welcome.
Shevchenko, who notched her sixth title defense with a dominant win over Lauren Murphy in the co-star, usually avoids controversy when she talks about fighting. But after hearing nerdy girls called “unnecessary” by former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, she felt she had to respond.
“Beautiful women are a decoration of any event, and I want people to know that, and no one has the right to say that they are unnecessary because they are where they belong” Shevchenko told reporters at the station. Fight press conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “They were here at the beginning, and you will come to any event, and you will see a beautiful woman, and you, as a man, like everybody else, you appreciate her, don’t you? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s the decoration.
“This is why this is my message: beautiful women are a decoration of any event. “
Nurmagomedov was explaining why he wasn’t going to hire nerdy girls for his promotion, Eagle Fighting Championships, when he made his controversial remarks.
” What is their function ? I have a question, ”he said. “You can show it’s the second round on the screen. … I realize it’s a story [with ring card girls]. History knows many mistakes. We read history to avoid mistakes from the past in the future.
“If we look in history, we say that they are useless. This is my personal opinion. [UFC President] Dana White might like it. Maybe you too. But my name is not Dana. My name is Khabib.
Nurmagomedov, a devout Muslim who frequently criticizes art that he finds offensive to his religion and values, later explained his distaste for the ring card girls had to do with his father, who in 2020 died of COVID-19.
“I feel uncomfortable with my father,” he said. ” I am not against. If you want, you can do it. But don’t force it on me. Do it from the side. There are designated places for it. I don’t think we should mix everything up. It’s my opinion. “
Nurmagomedov’s remarks certainly elicited a reaction, but they had no effect on UFC practices. At UFC 266, the ring card girls were holding the signs they had been holding since the fight began. Meanwhile, Shevchenko ran his business in the Octagon.