Animal rights activists demanded that the UFC leadership review the current contract with Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. The petition was sent to the promotion by the British branch of the organization for the fight for ethical treatment of animals (PETA).
The claims relate to the incorrect, in terms of animal welfare, behavior of the UFC lightweight champion, which he repeatedly demonstrated in relation to bears.
It is about several episodes. The first frames in which the future world sports star fights with a teddy bear appeared on the network in 2013. They were made in 1997 on an amateur camcorder.
Later, in 2014 and 2019, Nurmagomedov twice held similar meetings with other animals.
So, in April of this year, Habib arranged a comic fight with a small bear. The fighter posted the video on his Instagram and accompanied the publication with a laconic signature: "With an old friend."
View this Instagram post
🦅 🐻 Old friends met again
Publication from Founder of REDFURYMMA (@redfurymma_official) Apr 25, 2019 at 6:02 am PDT
Similar shots and attitude towards wild animals caused indignation among Western zoodefenders. The head of the British branch of PETA, Eliza Allen, asks UFC bosses to influence the fighter and stop this practice of “preparing” for fights.
“We urge to suspend cooperation with Khabib Nurmagomedov until he changes his attitude towards animals and behaves with them more respectfully as they deserve. Fighting a bear sitting on a chain is disgusting, you can immediately see the absolute lack of respect for animals and understanding of what they are, ”Allen quotes MMA Junkie.
In addition, the animal rights activist draws attention to the fact that the case of Khabib is not the only manifestation of aggression towards animals in Russia. Allen focuses on the fact that animals fall into human hands without ever having been in their natural habitat.
“Animals that are used for boxing, dancing or other archaic fun in Russia are most often torn apart from their mothers by their cubs. They are put in a cage or chain, muzzled and beaten. They are deprived of everything that is important to them. We urge Mr. Nurmagomedov to choose his opponents among the people who agree to this, ”the animal rights activist emphasized.
“For bears, such a fight is normal.”
The UFC has not yet responded to such requests. The party representing the interests of Khabib Nurmagomedov is also silent. At the same time, the fighter’s family previously told the story of a teddy bear who became famous on the net due to the fight against the future champion.
So, father and trainer of the champion Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov explained that two cubs left without a mother were presented to the director of the local state farm. One was immediately sent to the zoo, and the second was temporarily left in the village.
“At first, he simply played, then he began to grab by the leg, later by two legs. Learned to bring down, to be upstairs. It turned out that the little bear learned to fight. He did it well, while he was not angry and biting. I just rejoiced and played, and after that I got sugar for it, ”Sport-Express quotes Nurmagomedov Sr.
Later, the bear cub, named Cildy, was also sent to the zoo and no longer fought with Habib.
“He grew up, started walking around the yards, taking food from dogs. So they gave him away. There were a lot of interesting moments with Cildy. It was necessary to save them on the hard drive, all that remained was what you saw, ”explained Khabib’s father.
The well-known Russian trainer Askold Zapashny did not see cruelty to animals in the video with the participation of Khabib. An experienced predator tamer gave his assessment of the behavior of the beast. According to the trainer, the bear cub Cildy did not feel pain, did not show a protective reaction, but rather felt very comfortable.
“For bears, such a fight that looks like some kind of fuss is a completely normal phenomenon. Moreover, if the beast lives among people, is accustomed to them, then such a comic battle is absolutely safe both for him and for man, ”Ridus quotes Zapashny.
In addition, the trainer suggested that Nurmagomedov can upload videos involving animals only to increase interest in his person.
The president of the international promotion company M-1 Global, Vadim Finkelstein, is also convinced that this story can be of an advertising character. In a conversation with RT, the functionary expressed surprise at the behavior of the zoo defenders and noted that he expected from them further attempts to make himself an image in the name of Habib.
“All this is some kind of nonsense. It seems that the British are simply trying to PR in this way, otherwise nobody talks about them. It is strange that they are still silent about lamb hats. Perhaps these defenders will turn their attention to them. This thing is extremely popular, I just flew in from Abu Dhabi, every second one bought a hat for me there, ”Finkelstein said.
In addition, the functionary expressed confidence that no sanctions would follow Khabib from the UFC.
“I don’t think they will pay attention to such information at all,” he stressed.
Continuing the theme, Finkelstein noted that attracting trained bears to this or that participation in fighting fights is quite common, and animal welfare advocates regularly speak out on this subject.
“I also came across their attacks. At one of our fights, which took place in St. Petersburg, the fighters were brought out by a trained bear in gloves. They came up with such an interesting move, everyone liked it: at first there was a fighter, and then a bear. The audience liked it, nothing bad happened to anyone. But zoodefenders began to shout that this should not be shown on television, ”said the head of M-1 Global.