Having logged over 2000 man-hours on GoldenEye for the N64, I can state with confidence that I am something of an expert on Russian culture. For those of you who have not heard of this mythical land, Russia is basically the Florida of Eurasia, a borderline uninhabitable wasteland where only the craziest, meanest, tooth-and-nailiest sonsabitches gather to grow beards and trade fisticuffs. Gaining entrance to Russia requires the exact same right of passage as The Salty Spitoon – no passport is necessary, they just ask you how tough you are and you better have the right goddamn answer.
And the people who actually choose to live there? Stoic, hard-nosed mountain men who chug despair and consume the weak all. Oh, you say you’re celebrating your birthday, 63-year old man? Fuck you, turn down the music or I break your face. These are a people who willingly eat lampreys. Lampreys, you guys.
Having spent a lot of (virtual) time in Russia, I have grown accustomed to the stereotypical light in which Russians are oft regarded by outsiders (*ahem*). So when I found out that Rafael Dos Anjos had only agreed to fight Rustam Khabilov at UFC 170 because he thought Khabilov was the UFC’s other Russian, Khabib Nurmagomedov, I was as outraged as you would imagine.
But that’s what happened, at least according to the Brazilian’s recent interview with Globo:
My manager Ed Soares, he was telling me, said. ‘The UFC gave you the Russian.’ It was a lack of communication. I thought it was the Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is seventh in the rankings. Even though he was behind me, I thought it was a fight that might make more sense, and I accepted. Only two days later in a publication tagged me on Twitter and I saw it was Rustam Khabilov. Then I saw that something was wrong and called my manager, and he said: ‘Not Khabib (Nurmagomedov).’ But, then I had already accepted the fight. It was lack of communication. He also thought it was Nurmagomedov.
So this whole thing is that shiny-headed worm Ed Soares’ fault, eh? Quick Skeeter, why don’t you tell Ed how we treat the socially ignorant ’round here. Do not. take. kindly.
We can understand that Dos Anjos might be upset to learn that he is actually facing an unranked opponent next, but at the same time, he should probably know by now that the UFC rankings don’t mean jack shit. Khabilov is one of the fiercest up-and-comers in the lightweight division, and while a win over “The Russian” might not earn Dos Anjos a title shot outright, it would surely solidify his place as a top contender in the division. Should he lose, however, I’d like to suggest that both he and Soares be forced to attend a weekly tolerance seminar to help them learn from their mistakes. RUSSIANS ARE PEOPLE TOO, DAMMIT! (just barely, but still)