UFC Superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov draws criticism for promoting Metaverse MMA Game
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Dagestani UFC champion who retired undefeated, is receiving backlash from his fanbase for endorsing Gameplan, a metaverse game centered around sports.
Muslim fans call it “Haram”
Nurmagomedov boasts a colossal fan base and is widely regarded as one of the most beloved Muslim athletes globally.
In a recent tweet, the Russian combatant announced his participation in Gameplan, a sports-themed virtual world. Unfortunately, his followers did not share his enthusiasm for the game, and a significant number took to Twitter to express their disappointment. They criticized him for endorsing a “haram” game, which contradicts Islamic values.
A supporter posted on Twitter, “Your religion does not prevent you from endorsing ‘haram’ products. The issue here is not promoting a video game, but promoting one that goes against Islamic teachings.” In a separate tweet, another fan accused Nurmagomedov of promoting a fraudulent game.
Following Nurmagomedov’s announcement, there was a mixed response from his followers on Twitter. While some defended him, others persisted in reproaching him for supporting a game that is incompatible with Islamic principles.
Is someone else in charge of Khabib’s account?
Subsequent to his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, Nurmagomedov retired and focused his attention on coaching and pursuing business ventures outside the octagon. He also established Eagle FC, a mixed martial arts promotion, which has yet to hold an event this year.
Nurmagomedov’s tweet endorsing Gameplan ignited a dispute regarding the harmony between virtual sports and Islamic values. While some of his fans contended that virtual sports are innocuous and do not contradict Islamic teachings, others differed in opinion. They pointed out the violent nature of the game and its capacity to facilitate gambling, which runs contrary to Islamic beliefs.
In fact, Khabib himself has stated that he is against gambling:
“We don’t need bookmakers. I believe that gambling is more dangerous than alcohol. I think it’s worse to advertise gambling more than alcohol. Bookmakers ruin entire families. How many young guys go on their sites, stay on them, and become addicted?”
Considering Khabib’s stance regarding gambling, and the fact that Coffeezilla had previously accused the retired athlete of promoting an NFT scam, has led many to believe that someone else might be running Khabib’s Twitter account for him.
MMA on the Metaverse
In spite of the criticism, Gameplan has conquered a small following within the metaverse gaming community. The game enables participants to construct their personalized avatars and challenge other players in virtual MMA fights. The game’s creators have boasted that it is the first-ever sports-themed metaverse game globally.