Saudi Arabian backers want Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight Floyd Mayweather and they are willing to pay the UFC champion $100m (£75m) to do it. That is according to the Eagle’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who says the money men in the Middle East want to see Khabib take on Mayweather or Conor McGregor in Saudi Arabia.
The UFC lightweight champion is defending his title on 18 April against Tony Ferguson in Brooklyn, and Abdelaziz thinks that a scrap with Mayweather could be the next assignment for his client.
‘Some people in Saudi Arabia met with me they want to pay $100m to fight Conor in Saudi Arabia,’ Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports.
‘They want to pay $100m for Khabib to fight Floyd in Saudi Arabia. ‘It doesn’t really matter, I think more likely you can see Khabib vs Floyd. ‘All I’m thinking about now and that’s a psychopath by the name of Tony Ferguson. ‘My advice to Conor is “hey bitch, go and fight [Justin] Gaethje.’
Lightweight contender Gaethje is also managed by Abdelaziz, so it is no surprise he wants another of his clients to take on the biggest draw in the sport.
That fight appears to have a genuine chance of happening, with McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, naming it as his preferred next bout for the Irishman.
However, Kavanagh made the surprising choice that he would rather see the Notorious take on the Highlight at welterweight, rather than their more natural home of 155lbs.
Whether that fight comes to fruition or not, TMZ report that any UFC trip to Saudi Arabia is unlikely due to the company’s relationship with the country. The Saudis invested $400m in WME, which owns UFC, but the money was returned last year after the murder of journalist Jamaal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia are throwing a lot of money around to attract big sporting events, with Anthony Joshua fighting Andy Ruiz in Diriyah last year, but WME would take some serious convincing to change their tune.
Khabib has also seemed dismissive of the possibility of fighting Mayweather, in what would presumably be a boxing match.
‘I have already signed a contract for my next fight in April,’ Nurmagomedov told TASS in December. ‘At the moment, I’m not thinking either of boxing or of Mayweather. ‘I have a very serious opponent. I need to overcome this challenge and then we will see.
‘Boxing is his sport and he has devoted all his life to this sport. Today, he is the best in this sport with 50 wins in 50 fights. ‘What can I say? He is one of the greatest boxers of all time. This is why it will be tough fighting against him under the rules of boxing.’
What do you think who would win in a fight between Khabib and Floyd Mayweather?