Aussie Boxer, Ebanie Bridges is the latest among the critics of Khabib Nurmagomedov, targeting him for his comments about ring girls and their place in combat sports. Ebanie is the current IBF Bantamweight champion and prior to her boxing career also did a stint as a ring girl herself.
Nurmagomedov, a staunch Muslim was asked about the probability of ring girls, appearing in his promotion, Eagle FC. Not being inclined with the product he wants to deliver on, Nurmagomedov dismissed the idea and while questioning the reporter about the use of ring girls in combat sports.
Over a year after the original comments were made, current bantamweight champion Bridges recently gave her response to these statements. “Why are people who aren’t us, trying to take our jobs away from us?We love it, I loved being a ring girl. I don’t think it’s useless. I loved being part of the entertainment, being paid to watch those fights,” said Bridges on her stance in the issue.
Addressing the issue of objectifying women, Bridges said, “‘You’ve got people saying it’s sexist, it’s objectifying, maybe I want to be objectified. Maybe I want to make money, don’t make my mind up for me. You can’t have boxing without the ring girls.’
Bridges herself has become well known for her weigh-in and face-offs where she often sports a two-piece, perhaps in homage to her days as a ring girl. She also mentioned that many times, she’d get paid more by sitting ringside in a G string rather than from fighting.
What did Khabib Nurmagomedov say about ring girls?
Nurmagomedov’s comments were under immense scrutiny when he first made these statements, with most western fighters opposing the idea. Conor McGregor too posted memes about the same, which were then retweeted by UFC Ring Girls, Ariana Celeste and Britney Palmer.
However, Nurmagomedov was not taking a stance against ring card girls as a whole but only that he would not want them in his own promotion. Nurmagomedov emphasized that from just a practical point of view, in the era of a digitized cage, a card-carrying girl seems antique.
Almost all combat sports have had ring girls attached to it in some way or the other. Even all-female MMA organizations like Invicta, hire ring boys who hold up these cards. Recently departed fighter, Elias Theodorou was a prominent example of this.