Combat Sports

Diego Sanchez Says Ring Card Girls Are ‘Selling Sex’

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Diego Sanchez believes that ring card girls are “selling sex” and supports Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to exclude them from his Eagle FC promotion.

For the first time since his release from the UFC, Diego Sanchez (30-13-0) will step back into the cage competing for Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC on March 11. In his promotional debut, he will face former UFC contender Kevin Lee in a 165 pound bout. 

While speaking with FanSided about joining Eagle FC, the subject shifted to Nurmagomedov’s decision to keep his organization free of ring card girls.

“He doesn’t want ring girls in there, there’s no ring girls, you know what I mean? And no disrespect to the ring girls, you know, like that’s Vegas and that’s selling sex,” Sanchez said. “He’s aware of that and he’s like that’s not what I want to do in Eagle FC. You know, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] has been real big on his faith. You know, he has a mountain of faith, in God, and that’s the man I am too. 

“Even though our belief systems maybe a little different, we both believe in a God and so to be able to come into Eagle FC, get my opportunity to fly like an eagle and spread my message. My message is a God message.” (Transcribed by Sportskeeda)

“You Will Respect Me”

Ironically, Sanchez dated former UFC ring girl Ali Sonoma while they were both under contract with the promotion. The two were engaged in 2007, but that engagement was called off a year later when the couple split. 

Nurmagomedov confirmed ring girls would not be added to his promotion when he stated that, “ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts.” 

Those comments struck a chord with longtime UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste who clapped back at Nurmagomedov on social media.

“You can call us useless, but to people like me who have worked this hard, it slips right off my shoulders,” said Celeste on Instagram. “My life is too good to be unhappy. You don’t have to like me, but you will respect me.”

UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko also showed her support for ring card girls.

“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 right because 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. If there wouldn’t be ring girls, there wouldn’t be lights, fans, sounds. It’s just boring, it’s just boring to see. But all these little details, they fulfill the full picture. That’s why there is no discussion — ring girls are part of the biggest promotions, smallest promotions of anything,” Shevchenko told James Lynch

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