A recent report stated that the higher-ups in Saudi Arabia had put in a bid of $100 million to stage the rematch between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor on its soil.
That came days after Khabib’s father proclaimed his son would only run it back against “Notorious” for the same hefty price tag. But according to “The Eagle” himself, he doesn’t need that kind of money to beat up an “idiot” again, when those funds can go to more appropriate places.
“Why do I need that kind of money?” he asked reporters during a press conference in Russia on Tuesday (via RT Sport, transcribed by MMA Junkie). “There are so many organizations. For example, there’s not only football for the blind, there’s sambo and other sports. Let (the UFC) give it to them if they don’t know what to do with the money. But giving me $100 million for me to beat up that idiot again? I don’t think that’s rational.”
It’s not every day you hear a fighter so quick to turn down that kind of coin, especially in a sport where fighter pay is still a big topic. But Khabib — who apparently already has a very flush bank account — has never been about the big payday and has often used his funds to help those in need (example here).
At the end of the day, though, the money isn’t the only sticking point in fighting Conor again, it’s simply that Nurmagomedov doesn’t see the need do it again.
“Everyone saw what happened in the octagon (against McGregor). I controlled the fight every step of the way. I did everything I wanted to him. He even gave up. How can we even discuss a rematch? We can only talk about continuing the festivities and making money. The question is, do I want that? I am focused on Tony Ferguson.”
Indeed, Khabib is set to face off against Ferguson at the upcoming UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 18, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York. But Dana White has gone on record saying that should “The Eagle” prove victorious, a rematch against McGregor is in order.
“What’ll happen after the fight, no one knows. I don’t worry about it. That’s what (the UFC) want. I’m surprised that people even question me about a rematch. It seems that people want to continue the festivities after that fight.
“I have a fight on April 18 – a very serious fight,” he continued. “For the past 1.5 months, I’ve been consistently training day and night. I’ve gotten myself in good shape to where I’m supposed to be 70 days before a fight. I feel great.”
That said, Ferguson can play spoiler and send Khabib and McGregor on two different paths, putting their rematch on hold and making all this $100 million talk pointless.