'I will stop the war': Trump promises Khabib Nurmagomedov he will stop Israel's war on Gaza at UFC event

'I will stop the war': Trump promises Khabib Nurmagomedov he will stop Israel's war on Gaza at UFC event
Former president Donald Trump told Khabib Nurmagomedov that he would stop the war on Gaza, despite his strongly pro-Israel stances.
2 min read
03 June, 2024
Trump's vow to Khabib is unlikely to be serious if he should once again become president [Getty]

Former US President Donald Trump was overheard promising to stop Israel’s war on Gaza in a conversation with Russian MMA superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 302 on Sunday.

Trump, known for his unprecedented pro-Israel policies when last in power, was filmed conversing with Khabib ringside at the New Jersey event.

In the video, Khabib, who retired undefeated in the UFC, can be seen partially embracing and shaking hands with Trump.

"I know you will stop the war in Palestine," Khabib can be heard saying to the former president.

"We will stop it. I will stop the war," Trump replies.

Khabib, the first Muslim to win a UFC title, has previously shown solidarity with Palestinians during Israel’s devastating war on Gaza.

At the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza in October, the Dagestan-born former lightweight champion shared a post with his 35 million Instagram followers denouncing an attack on the Al Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, calling it a "genocide".

Trump’s pledge to Khabib to stop Israel’s war on Gaza flies in the face of his recent rhetoric on the subject.

Speaking to wealthy donors in a private meeting in New York, Trump said that he supports Israel’s right to continue “its war on terror” and boasted about his previous policies toward Israel.

Trump, who last week became the first former president to be tried and convicted of crimes, has also accused Joe Biden of siding with Hamas and pro-Palestinian protesters.

"Crooked Joe is taking the side of these terrorists, just like he has sided with the Radical Mobs taking over our college campuses," Trump posted on his Truth Social network.

"He's totally abandoned Israel and nobody can believe it," he added to reports.

When asked during an interview on Fox News in March if he was "in Israel's camp", Trump replied "yes" without hesitation.

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The interviewer then asked if the former president was "on board" with the way Israel was executing its offensive in Gaza.

"You've got to finish the problem," Trump responded.

During the earlier months of the conflict, Trump did say Israel should "get it over with … get back to peace and stop killing people".

However, he added that Tel Aviv must have "total victory" over Hamas and refused to criticise Israel for the civilian death toll, which now stands at over 36,400 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians.