Here we go again.
On Thursday, UFC president Dana White revealed that he had a meeting in Los Angeles this week with Floyd Mayweather’s representatives about a potential showdown with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Now to set the record straight, White was adamant that he’s not interested in another boxing match like the one that took place last year between Mayweather and UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
Instead, White says he’s only talking to Mayweather and his team about possibly crossing over into mixed martial arts and while he’s extremely hesitant to believe it will ever happen, the two sides have now officially held a conversation about it.
“I had a meeting yesterday in Los Angeles about this,” White told ESPN on Thursday. “I don’t want to say anything that’s going to make it sound like ‘wow this could happen’ but we had talks yesterday.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t think the fight would happen in the UFC but they didn’t say no.”
White says despite the enormity of the fight between Mayweather and McGregor, he has no desire to revisit that circus again where a UFC champion would step into a boxing ring as a massive underdog to arguably one of the greatest pugilists the sport has ever known.
Because McGregor was willing to go over to boxing, White believes if Mayweather wants another massive payday to take on a UFC champion, he’s going to have to step into the world of mixed martial arts.
“We went over there, we boxed him and if he wants to do it again, he’s gotta come fight in the UFC,” White said. “I don’t think it’s very realistic at all but I didn’t the boxing match was either and it happened so we’ll see.
“There will no be a boxing match. Obviously if it was something that Khabib really wanted to do, we’d sit down and talk about it but I don’t like anything about it. I haven’t talked to Khabib about it at all. His interest needs to be defending his title over here. That’s what he should be focused on.”
There’s little doubt that Nurmagomedov would be a gargantuan underdog if he stepped into a boxing ring with Mayweather but the odds on an MMA fight in the UFC would be even greater.
Nurmagomedov is undefeated with only one round lost during his entire UFC career and that came in a close affair with McGregor at UFC 229. Add to that, Nurmagomedov is a world class grappler and arguably one of the best wrestlers in the entire sport.
In other words, Nurmagomedov would be a complete nightmare for Mayweather if he ever contemplated a crossover into MMA, which is yet another reason why no one expects this fight to actually happen.
Still, White knows that Mayweather enjoyed the huge payday he received from a boxing match against McGregor in 2017 and there’s a reason why he’s coming back to the table again now for a potential showdown with Nurmagomedov.
“There’s a reason why Floyd Mayweather wants to fight my guys,” White said. “Because there’s big money there for him. Obviously, there’s big money there for us but I’m not into making those kinds of fights.
“If Floyd wants to come over here, he said he’s been wrestling and doing this and that, if he wants to come over and fight in the UFC, he’s more than welcome.”