Nobody really seems to know who is next for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but his manager certainly knows what he wants next for Nurmagomedov’s pocketbook.
UFC president Dana White has said that Tony Ferguson deserves the next shot at Nurmagomedov, but has been hesitant to commit to that being the next fight for him given that Nurmagomedov must first face the Nevada State Athletic Commission before he learns when he’ll be eligible to fight again.
Nurmagomedov landed in hot water when months of tension boiled over after he defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 and leapt over the fence to attack McGregor cornerman Dillon Danis. He now faces a potential fine, suspension, or other sanctions from the NSAC, which served as the sanctioning body at UFC 229. He’ll likely learn his fate in December.
Until then, his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, is targeting dollars over names.
“Ben Askren, (Tyron) Woodley, none of these guys can touch Khabib. Especially if they’re scared to get tired and these guys, they get tired. Now, I’m not even worried about Tyron or Ben Askren,” Abdelaziz said in a recent interview with TMZ Sports.
“I’m worrying about somebody bringing $50 million to $100 million to the table and none of these guys can bring $200,000 to the table.”
Those are heady numbers considering Nurmagomedov didn’t like crack $10 million for the bout with McGregor. NSAC chair Anthony Marnell noted in passing during the commission’s October meeting that he believed Nurmagomedov, including pay-per-view points, was expected to be paid somewhere around $5 to $6 million for the fight.
McGregor has been rumored to be earning somewhere in the $50 million range for the bout, though sources for that number have been fairly vague when it comes to verification. That number, however, is the one that Nurmagomedov’s manager was fixated on when justifying his client’s expected next payday.
“Listen, the guy we just fought said he made $50 million. I think, as a global superstar, Khabib bypass him. You have a guy meeting with (Vladimir) Putin and (Reccep Tayyip) Erdoğan and the other guy selling liquor on the corner store. It’s not even in the f—ing same planet. You have a guy right now meeting with President Putin.”
Regardless of what Nurmagomedov and Abdelaziz want, any movement will likely not occur until the NSAC makes its final determination about how to handle Nurmagomedov’s actions following his win over McGregor.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Manager Addresses What is Next for His Fighter
(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)