MOSCOW – UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is perhaps the most famous muslim athlete in Russia and quickly becomes the leading conservative voice at home.
When a National Guard was apparently killed trying to break a fight outside an institution that was otherwise designated as a cafeteria and nightclub early Sunday morning, Nurmagomedov called for the suppression of local nightlife in the dominant Muslim area of Dagestan.
"What good do these nightclubs do in our society?" Nurmagomedov published on Monday at Instagram, where he has more than 13 million fans.
Nurmagomedov, a non-alcoholic lifestyle, defeated UFC Conor McGregor last month and helped trigger the next brawl, further increasing his already high profile at home.
On Monday, she presented a video by Dagestani actress Eldar Iraziev asking for closed nightclubs, saying she completely supports this message. In his video, Iraqi condemns the nightclubs of "alcohol like a river, repaired women, and in the end there are shots."
This is not the first time that Nurmagomedov has expressed his disapproval of other people's nightlife choices.
"All alcoholics will have the same end," he wrote after a press conference ahead of the fight against McGregor, who accused him of refusing a whiskey offer.
In August, Nurmagomedov published a video from a large female crowd singing at a hip-hop concert with the comment: "Modern Dagestan. Is that what our heirs let us inherit?"
The Muslim peoples of the North Caucasus of Russia are often marginalized economically and socially in Russia, with higher levels of poverty than the national average and generally conservative views on issues such as women in the workforce. The region's passion for racing sports offers young men a path to fame and a common view of their opinions.
Nurmagomedov met repeatedly with the authoritarian governor of Chechnya's neighboring region, Raman Kairev. The authorities in Chechnya greatly restrict the sale of alcohol, promote an Islamic code for women and are accused of human rights violations, including homosexual torture.
Nurmagomedov's attitude to night clubs has been repeated by Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev, nicknamed "Russian tank" for his power in the ring.
"My dear brothers and compatriots," Sadulaev wrote to Instagram's 650,000 audience after Sunday shooting, which authorities accused suspects, including a former martial arts champion. "We are mountain people we call the Muslims. There is nothing in these miserable places (nightclubs) for us besides evil … For us, there is no room for these clubs."
So far, there are no signs of suppression of nightlife. Regional Minister for Youth Kamil Saidov told Govorit Moskva Radio that Sunday shooting was "a daily conflict" and said there should be better security, not closure.
"If we do not have places to relax young people (they will leave Dagestan)," he said.
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