THE fallout to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC storm can now, officially, be labelled a circus.
The lightweight champ, fresh from choking out Conor McGregor in front of the world, made moves to follow in his Irish rivals footsteps in the week after defending his belt, proposing a superfight with semi-retired boxing star Floyd Mayweather.
“Let’s go, Floyd, we have to fight now,” Khabib said in an Instagram video with boxing promoter Leonard Ellerbe. “50-0 versus 27-0, two guys who have never, never lost. Let’s go. Why not? In the jungle, there is only one king. Of course, I am the king. He could not drop McGregor, but I dropped him easily. That’s right. Let’s go.”
Here we go.
It didn’t take long for the undefeated Mayweather, who claimed his 50th career win against Conor McGregor last August, to respond to the Dagestani’s offer.
He has already confirmed a blockbuster rematch with rival Manny Pacquiao before the new year and looks keen to take on the 30-year-old as well.
“CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out!” Mayweather posted on Instagram.
“Go to @leonardellerbe‘s page to view Khabib Nurmagomedov challenging me. LET’S MAKE LAS VEGAS GREAT AGAIN!”
Khabib’s $2 million prize from defeating McGregor is still yet to be paid after the Nevada State Athletic Comission punished him for swinging at McGregor’s team after the fight.
“@Floydmayweather But no Vegas, they won’t pay my money,” he responded.
Nurmagomedov did not say whether he wished to fight Mayweather in a boxing or UFC match. Like McGregor, the Russian has no previous experience as a professional boxer.
McGregor made millions last year by taking on Mayweather in lopsided boxing match. Mayweather appeared to toy with McGregor in the early rounds before stopping the Irishman in the 10th to improve to 50-0.
Last weekend, Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight crown, beating McGregor by fourth-round submission.
He then climbed out of the Octagon to fight with a member of McGregor’s entourage who had been taunting him. McGregor alsotook some punches from members of Nurmagomedov’s team.
DEMANDS FOR MCGREGOR REMATCH
McGregor’s first words after tapping out in the fourth round was that he was looking forward to a rematch with Khabib.
Coach John Kavanagh revealed the Irishman had immediately rewatched his loss and sent him “essays” on how he would take down the Eagle in their next meeting.
“Conor watched (the Khabib fight) right away, I hadn’t seen the fight since,” Kavanagh told ESPN. “I got essays immediately to my phone, ‘This is what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that.’
“I was like great, if we’re gonna do it, let’s do it. But I would change a few things around even from a training standpoint.
“We’d have to go ... it’s kind of funny, to use a ridiculous analogy, it’s a bit like Rocky III. We’ve got this up and coming guy (Khabib) and I wanna go back to get the eye of the tiger, go back and train in an old school gym. Just disappear. Get me, Conor, Artem (Lobov), Peter (Queally), and that kind of crew, and just disappear for three months. Really put in a nightmarish training camp, an old school training camp. If we’re going to do it again, that would be my requirement to go ahead and do this again.”
KHABIB’S BIG UFC THREAT
UFC president Dana White hinted at banning Nurmagomedov’s teammate, fellow Russian and UFC fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, for his part in the incident at UFC 229.
The move to throw Khabib’s friend out of the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world sparked a fire in the lightweight champion’s belly.
“Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought,” Nurmagomedov said in a statementposted on his Instagram account.
“If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started.
“In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that. “If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken.You cancelled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. “But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.
“If you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I willgo to the end for my Brother. “If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’llbreak it myself.
“And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuckin your throat. We have defended our honour and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end.” McGregor, meanwhile,has been suspended for one month on medical grounds after tapping out to Nurmagomedov due to a rear-naked choke.
Nurmagomedov said his actions immediately after his win were a result of McGregor’s provocation in the build-up to the fight,which included smashing the window of the Russian’s team bus, which injured several people. In his Instagram statement, Nurmagomedovadded: “Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people?
“They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?”