Fighting Floyd Mayweather interests Khabib Nurmagomedov more than anything the UFC can offer

Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty ImagesKhabib Nurmagomedov has one thing on his mind — Floyd Mayweather.
  • There is one fight that interests Khabib Nurmagomedov more than all others.
  • Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, has been linked with a fight against jiu-jitsu expert Tony Ferguson and a rematch against Irish striker Conor McGregor.
  • But the Russian wrestler only has eyes for Floyd Mayweather.
  • Nurmagomedov has already met with the Russian Boxing Federation to discuss a potential fight, and Mayweather’s team reportedly talked about a two-fight deal with the UFC boss Dana White.

Fighting Floyd Mayweather interests Khabib Nurmagomedov more than anything the UFC can offer.

Nurmagomedov reigns over the UFC lightweight division as the unbeaten champion won the vacant title by beating Al Iaquinta by decision in April, before romping to a fourth-round submission win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 six months later.

A rematch against McGregor or a bout against the jiu-jitsu expert Tony Ferguson are both plausible UFC fights for Nurmagomedov to compete in next, but the Russian wrestler says a bout against Mayweather would trump the lot.

Speaking at a press conference in Russia to promote his autobiography, Nurmagomedov said, “for legacy, money-wise and competition-wise, the bout against Mayweather would be more interesting” than a fight versus Ferguson, according to Yahoo Sports.

Nurmagomedov has frequently said he is the “Mayweather of MMA” in the past and believes his status as an undefeated prizefighter adds intrigue to the match-up with the pay-per-view king of boxing.

Floyd MayweatherPhoto by Al Bello/Getty ImagesMayweather is the pay-per-view king.

Read more: Khabib Nurmagomedov is 3 wins away from becoming the best lightweight the UFC has ever seen, and could retire as ‘the Floyd Mayweather of MMA’

“Why do people keep buying pay-per-views with Mayweather in? Because he keeps winning. He’s never lost. 50 bouts and 50 wins. Some people root for him and some people root against him,” Nurmagomedov said. “That would be very interesting. Two undefeated fighters. It would be very interesting to see who wins.”

Nurmagomedov did not reportedly add details about what sort of fight he would seek, but recent history suggests it would be fought under boxing rules.

This is because the 30-year-old met with the Russian Boxing Federation to discuss the Floyd Mayweather fight in October, and wanted to host it in Moscow in front of 100,000 fans.

Mayweather once said he was absolutely fighting Nurmagomedov, and his team even discussed a two-fight deal with the UFC boss Dana White.

The veteran American, who turns 42 in February, has since booked a fight against the RIZIN kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, who is only 20 years old – a fight he even acknowledges isn’t even a real contest.

It is unclear how much money the exhibition against Nasukawa would generate, but Nurmagomedov believes a bout with him would pique the interest of fans as it would be “twice as interesting” as the one Mayweather had with McGregor.

“Our fight will be twice as interesting. Two unbeaten fighters, it will be interesting to see which one falls or takes a step back,” he said.

Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229Photo by Harry How/Getty ImagesNurmagomedov was led out by security after UFC 229.

Before Nurmagomedov is able to negotiate a fight, with Mayweather or with the UFC, he must attend a disciplinary hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) regarding his behaviour after he submitted McGregor.

Rather than celebrate his victory, Nurmagomedov mounted the cage and charged at McGregor’s cageside friend Dillon Danis. While that was going on, members of Nurmagomedov’s team were seen jumping into the octagon and brawling with McGregor.

Nurmagomedov then turned up at the post-fight press conference and said Vladimir Putin was proud of him.

The NSAC, though, have instructed both Nurmagomedov and McGregor to attend a hearing on December 10. Failure to comply will tank their careers as they will be prohibited from ever competing in Las Vegas again.

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