Khabib Nurmagomedov recently made headlines by stating that he would not be having ring girls in his own MMA promotion, the Eagle Fighting Championship. He also suggested that the girls are the most unnecessary people in the entire sport.
Khabib's comments have been hit with significant backlash from multiple members of the MMA community. Valentina Shevchenko is the latest notable figure to openly disagree with 'The Eagle'. The UFC women's flyweight champion had the following to say about ring girls in a recent interview with James Lynch:
"It's a part, it's a huge part of any promotion... For mixed martial arts we don't need anything. We just need an opponent, maybe referee, maybe judges. We don't need fans, we don't need lights, we don't need sound, we don't need anything. But what the promotion do is like creating all of this. And ring girls is definitely part of it."
Shevchenko went on to point out that ring girls have been a part of MMA ever since the sport's inception. 'Bullet' also stated that whilst they may not add to the martial arts side of things, the girls do enhance the viewing experience for many fans.
"They were since the beginning of the UFC, they were since the beginning of everything. And to say they don't belong to martial arts, it's so bad. It's so not not right because they are. They are part. And it's kind of like, without all of this, any fighter would not be in the position of where he is right now... All these little details, they fulfill the full picture."
Valentina Shevchenko discusses how she remains motivated to defend her title
Valentina Shevchenko is one of the UFC's most dominant champions. Whilst competing in the promotion, the Kyrgzstani-Peruvian has never lost a fight in her natural weight class. She is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, having defeated the likes of Jessica Andrade, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Katlyn Chookagian.
Shevchenko is now preparing for yet another title defense, this time against Lauren Murphy. Considering how dominant Valentina Shevchenko has been, you might wonder how she retains her motivation.
The 125-pound champion said she was brought up in a family of martial artists. Shevchenko added that she grew up with the idea that she had to push herself to the limit every time. Having maintained that attitude, 'Bullet' said that's what keeps her motivated as a champ.
You can check out James Lynch's full interview with Valentina Shevchenko below: