It’s more than money for Khabib Nurmagomedov. The former UFC lightweight champion is now speaking out on why taking a $100 million payday for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather would have been “dangerous.”
Nurmagomedov, who retired from MMA after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last October, says he promised his mother that he would not fight again following the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
While speaking with former two weight UFC champion Henry Cejudo on Mike Tyson’s ‘Hotboxin’ podcast, Nurmagomedov felt that a $100m payday against Mayweather would do more harm than good.
“I don’t wanna make boxing community upset with me,” Nurmagomedov stated.
“Of course money makes sense too. But I never fight for money. Money is good, but most of the time it is bad. Money brings you to the situation that you have never been, and you don’t know how to act when you have so much money.
“It is a little bit dangerous. In this business, I don’t come to make money. I come here for legacy.”
Khabib had initially called for a fight with Mayweather shortly after submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018.
“Let’s go Floyd. We have to fight now: 50-0 versus 27-0. We are two guys who never lose. [But] in the jungle there is only one king. Of course, I am the king because he cannot drop McGregor but I drop him easily. Let’s go,” he said.
Mayweather replied: “CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out!”
Talks were reportedly heating up, with Dana White even being on board with it.
“Listen, we got offered $100million to fight Floyd Mayweather. Dana White was on board, everybody was on board. But, you know, Khabib is an MMA fighter. If Floyd wanted to come to fight, get his little a** whooped, no problem.”
This past February, Mayweather fought internet personality Logan Paul in an exhibition fight.
Of that fight, Nurmagomedov said: “What’s there to say? They came out, made money. It’s purely business. There was no competitive aspect to it, old Mayweather came out, they sparred and made money – what else is there to say?”
Since retiring from professional competition, Nurmagomedov has purchased, rebranded and launched his own Russian-based MMA promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship.