Khabib Nurmagomedov is more than happy to face Conor McGregor later this year, but only if the UFC is willing to pay him what he’s worth.
The undefeated Russian, who won the lightweight title back in April, has been rumored for a fight against McGregor for several months with all signs pointing towards a showdown at one of the upcoming UFC cards between October and December.
While McGregor said earlier this week that he was “very close” to finalizing a deal for his next fight, Nurmagomedov claims that negotiations have just started, but he’s not going to sign for the fight without a significant raise from the UFC.
“We’re just beginning negotiations,” Nurmagomedov said on Thursday when speaking to Adam Glyn. “I don’t know. It’s about UFC, it’s about Conor too, cause they make decision, but interesting situation. If they want to make money fight, they have to pay me, too. I’m not going to give him chance to use my name, Conor makes money, UFC makes money, and I make $200,000. No way.
“If they want me to fight on my current contract, I can fight okay, but give me [Dustin] Poirier. I’m going to follow my contract. But if they want to use my name and use me to make money for Conor and the UFC, no way.”
Just recently, Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz had stated that the reigning lightweight champion wouldn’t fight McGregor for less than what Nate Diaz made when he faced the Irishman in a rematch in 2016.
On that night, Diaz took him $2 million in disclosed payday plus a cut of the pay-per-view profits in what was ultimately one of the biggest cards in UFC history.
Nurmagomedov’s last disclosed payday was $160,000 for his dominant win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219. He likely made more for his title fight victory over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, but the New York State Athletic Commission doesn’t release fighter salaries.
Even with a significant bump in pay from his fight with Barboza last year, Nurmagomedov would seemingly still be far behind a $2 million payday and that’s why he’s demanding a bigger cut of the profits, especially considering he’s now holding the UFC lightweight title.
“I hope they’re going to make this fight because I really want to change this guy’s face. I really want this. I really want to meet him alone inside the cage. Only me and him. [If] they want to use me, I am the undefeated, undisputed UFC lightweight champion. I no need him. He needs me,” Nurmagomedov said. “His last four fights is like 2-2. He don’t fight for two years. He don’t deserve this title shot. Dustin Poirier’s on the line; he deserves this. If they want to use me and make a lot of millions, use my name, no way. They want a money fight, please pay me.
“If you want a money fight, pay me money.”
(Courtesy of Adam’s Apple)