UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said to earn $6m for Abu Dhabi victory

UFC President Dana White said a fight with US fighter Tony Ferguson is likely next, although a re-match with Conor McGregor is possible
UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said to earn $6m for Abu Dhabi victory
Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov emerged victorious over now former-interim champion Poirier after winning via a choke hold in the third round, after dominating him throughout the fight with his superior grappling ability.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 08 Sep 2019 06:29 AM

Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to earn more than $6 million following his victory over US fighter Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, according to media reports.

At the fight, the reigning lightweight champion emerged victorious over now former-interim champion Poirier after winning via a choke hold in the third round, after dominating him throughout the fight with his superior grappling ability.

For his last fight, against Irishman Conor McGregor, Nurmagomedov was reportedly paid $2 million, the bulk of which was a share from pay-per-view broadcasts and other sources.

“This time, it will be 3 to 3.5-fold higher,” Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, told Russia’s TASS news agency. “We aren’t fighting for peanuts and we know our value.”

The elder Nurmagomedov added that “that sum [$2m] is too little for us because we are the best at the moment….we have defeated the best and are ready to keep fighting with the best.”

The official pay-outs for UFC 242 will not be released.

With the victory, the Russian fighter maintains his perfect professional UFC record with 28 wins and no losses.

The fight against Poirier marked the first time Nurmagomedov has fought since beating McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018. Following the fight, he served a nine-month suspension for a controversial post-fight brawl at the event.

Who’s next?

At a post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said that the Nurmagomedov is likely to face American lightweight Tony Ferguson. The two were previously scheduled to fight in 2015, but Nurmogomedov pulled out of the fight because of an injury.

“He’s next. Tony Ferguson is next in line for the fight, if he accepts the fight,” he said. “We’ll see how this thing plays out, when Khabib will fight again and if Tony wants to fight.”

If Ferguson turns down the fight, White said that a rematch with McGregor is possible.

“If for whatever reason Tony can’t take the fight or doesn’t want the fight at that time, then we would figure out what was next,” he said. “But yeah, Conor would make a lot of sense.”

McGregor, for his part, took to Twitter to express his interest.

Book my rematch for Moscow,” he wrote.

Immediately following the fight, Nurmagomedov took a thinly veiled swipe at McGregor as he commented on the respectful relationship between him and Poirier.

“UFC is all about the respect and I appreciated all the respect that I got from Dustin in the build-up to this fight,” he said. “No trash talking like the other guy. I really appreciate it.”

Another clash in Abu Dhabi?

When asked about his future plans at the post-fight press conference, Nurmagomedov said that another fight in Abu Dhabi was possible, given the UFC’s five-year partnership with the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

“This is the most amazing place…of course I want to fight here….I love these people and they love me. I hope they liked my performance,” he said. “Maybe next year. We’ll see.”

In the short-term, however, Nurmagomedov said he had other plans.

“My next opponent, it’s a very good steak and a burger with double cheese,” he said. “With some juice, with ice.”

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