Dana White mentioned that Khabib Nurmagomedov has been fielding a ton of huge money making offers in the wake of his fourth round submission win over Conor McGregor back in October of 2018. The usually tight lipped White (when it comes to money at least) revealed a ballpark figure on the Dagestani champion’s net worth leading up to UFC 246.
“Everybody talks about how rich Conor is,” White said. “Khabib is rich ... Khabib has that type of money. When I say that type of money, I mean over $50 million.”
Nurmagomedov did an extensive tour of the Middle East over 2019 and did a lot of business. Maybe not ‘Proper 12’ level business, but when you’re the bad-ass fighting champion of the Muslim world, we think there’s plenty of opportunities to make money. Just take for example this offer shared by Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz with TMZ recently.
”I know some people in Saudi Arabia, right now, they met with me, they want to pay $100 million to Khabib to fight Conor in Saudi Arabia,” Abdelaziz claimed. “They want to pay Khabib $100 million to fight Floyd [Mayweather] in Saudi Arabia.”
Yes, people are still talking about Floyd Mayweather vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for some reason.
Not as surprising are the crazy numbers being offered up to make historic sporting events happen in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has spent massive wads of cash importing as many major league sports and events as they can in what some call ‘sportwashing,’ aka rehabilitating the image of their often violent and oppressive government with the help of popular brands. Whatever the reason, everyone knows that some extremely big bank transfers are available for the right event should a promoter choose to hold it in Saudi Arabia.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was reportedly paid around $40 million to hold the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch in Diriyah back in December. A fight between Joshua and Fury may be worth an extra $50 mil for each fighter if they do it there instead of the UK. Considering these numbers, we don’t doubt Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather could pull that kind of financial backing.
It is worth noting however that any such offer would have to go through the UFC, not Khabib and his manager. Then there are regional politics to contend with. The UFC is already in bed with Abu Dhabi, whom Dana White recently said was the UFC’s home in the Middle East.
A hundred million site fee might seem like the ultimate temptation, but it would probably still be worth it for the UFC to keep a rematch in America where the hype could reach its full peak and as many ESPN+ subscriptions can be garnered as possible. Gotta keep the people signing off on the billion dollar deals happy, after all.