Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, retired his pet bear a few years back, because apparently his furry little friend was no longer tough enough (or tall enough) to fly with “The Eagle.”
That’s why Nurmagomedov has instead moved on to training with lions.
I’m not sure how or why footage that is several years old (watch it) is now front page news for the folks who run People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but they now want the promotion to reconsider its relationship with the Dagestani Sambo specialist.
“PETA encourages the UFC to evaluate its relationship with Mr. Nurmagomedov until he shows a clear change in attitude and a commitment to showing animals the respect that they deserve,” Elisa Allen, PETA UK Director, told Business Insider.
“Wrestling with a chained bear is loathsome behavior that shows an utter lack of respect for and consideration of who these animals are. In the wild, bears roam across vast territories, foraging, swimming, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, searching for a mate, and expressing other essential, natural types of behavior.
“Those used in Russia for ‘boxing,’ ‘dancing,’ or other archaic forms of entertainment are typically torn from their mothers as cubs, chained, caged, muzzled, beaten, and deprived of everything that’s meaningful to them. PETA urges Mr. Nurmagomedov to stick to wrestling with willing human opponents.”
Nurmagomedov (28-0) was last seen submitting former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, in the UFC 242 pay-per-view (PPV) main event earlier this month in Abu Dhabi, and is expected to move on to fight Tony Ferguson in early 2020.