Former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has questioned Russian government officials, why cheap drugs have become prevalent in Dagestan — claiming he believes it’s coordinated to introduce narcotics to “break” the youth of the region. 

Nurmagomedov, a former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, called time on his professional mixed martial arts career back in October of last year on ‘Fight Island’ — immediately following a second round triangle win against then-interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje, successfully unifying the championships.

Despite much speculation regarding his fighting future, as well as numerous transparent bids from UFC president, Dana White to entice the 29-0 back to active competition, Nurmagomedov was officially removed from the lightweight rankings earlier this year, before vacating his championship — which is now currently held by Brazilian grappler, Charles Oliveira.

In the time since, Nurmagomedov has launched his own professional mixed martial arts promotion, Eagle FC — and ahead of the organization’s 37. event — the 32-year-old spoke with media assembled at a press event.

When questioned by Nedelva Sporta reporter, Timur Tilman during his appearance at the press conference in Kazakhstan, Nurmagomedov was asked for some words of guidance to young people who are suffering from substance abuse issues, before himself questioning why cheap drugs from Russia have found their way into society in Dagestan so prevalently. 

How can there be young people at the country’s largest economic forum?” Khabib asked the reporter when probed for his thoughts on claims that cleaners found drug residue in toilets at an economic forum in Russia. “Young people don’t go (to the forum), it’s just people in power. What do the toilets in the economic forum have to do with it?” Khabib responded when asked for his advice to young people.

So other toilets have drug residue too?” Khabib asked. “You could’ve mentioned school toilets. It’s (drugs) a real problem, especially here in Dagestan. I don’t know how or why it happened — why Russia’s cheapest drugs ended up in Dagestan. I think it’s the work of very coordinated people. They introduce these drugs: weed, pills, salts into certain regions to break the youth there.

Nurmagomedov then explained how he believes the issue with drug and substance abuse in Dagestan needs to begin with the government of Russia.

I think the fight has to start with the government,” Khabib said. “If they want to, they can end it (the drug problem) in a day. They’re good at collecting taxes, right? But they can’t stop the flow of drugs?

Someone comes, leaves a package, and young people go find it,” Khabib continued. “That’s all done on the internet — they order drugs in one place, then go find them and use them. I think, first of all, the government has to tighten their controls. Secondly, parents have to watch their kids to ensure total control at home. Only after that, people like me who have a large following should tell kids what’s right and wrong. It’s not something that can be fixed with one message. This should be handled at the government level. There should be less cocaine in the economic forum toilets because they’re the ones ruling the country. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.