UFC’s Khabib Nurmagomedov targets Mayweather bout
Fresh from defending his Lightweight title against Conor McGregor, the UFC’s Khabib Nurmagomedov has set his sights on another undefeated fighter in boxing’s Floyd Mayweather — who in turn welcomed the challenge.
In a video posted on Instagram by the flamboyant boxer’s promoter Leonard Ellerbe, the Russian fighter challenged Mayweather — who himself boxed McGregor in a unique head-to-head last August — to take him on next.
“Let’s go Floyd, we have to fight now,” a smiling Nurmagomedov says in the video, which Ellerbe says was shot at a fight event in Russia.
“50-0 versus 27-0, two guys (who) never lose. Let’s go, why not? Because, in the jungle (there’s) only one king. Only one king… of course, I’m the king. Because, he cannot drop… McGregor but I drop him easily. That’s why, let’s go.”
Mayweather replied to Nurmagomedov’s call Monday, posting on Instagram: “CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out!
“Let’s make Las Vegas great again!”
Mayweather has fought 50 professional fights without defeat; the younger Russian has a 27-0 record.
It was not clear from Nurmagomedov’s challenge what the discipline — MMA or boxing — would be, should the two meet.
Nurmagomedov’s much-anticipated UFC bout against McGregor took place earlier in October, with a win for the Russian — and the ugliest scenes coming after the fight.
The 30-year-old Russian won the heated bout with a fourth round win via submission, but the headlines were made when Nurmagomedov went over the top of the octagon to attack someone in the crowd in the immediate aftermath of his victory.
This was followed by one of Nurmagomedov’s camp seemingly entering the cage, to attack the beaten McGregor.
Fellow Russian Zubaira Tukhugov — a rostered featherweight fighter — was pulled from a fight against Artem Lobov following the brawl that broke out after the Khabib-McGregor showdown.
The Lightweight champ later said he had been aggravated by McGregor’s pre-fight trash talk, with the Irishman — ahead of his first match-up since losing to Mayweather last summer — making remarks concerning Nurmagomedov’s family, religion, and nationality.
Nurmagomedov also referenced an incident earlier this year when McGregor pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after attacking a bus carrying UFC fighters in Brooklyn which injured a number of athletes and led to the cancellation of two fights and the way it had been used to promote last weekend’s bout.
He said that the UFC — considered Mixed Martial Arts’ preeminent organization — would lose him as a fighter if it fired Tukhugov following the incident.