Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated boxing great who has made a career out of doing exactly enough to win decisions in the ring, is looking to pad his bank accounts yet again by taking on another UFC fighter who has absolutely no business in a boxing ring.
Rumors have been swirling about a match between Mayweather and current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for a little while now, but some recent boasting by Mayweather has helped ramp things up to a fever pitch. Khabib challenged Mayweather, and Mayweather seems to be up for it.
Nurmagomedov, fresh off his defeat of Conor McGregor and attack on McGregor’s trainer, has been critical of the UFC’s handling of the entire mess, and now seems like the perfect time for the Dagestani grappler to cash in on his fame, but will it actually happen?
“Oh, we’re fighting,” Mayweather told TMZ Sports. “I’m my own boss, I can’t say what’s going on on Khabib’s end, but on my end, we can make it happen.”
Well, you obviously need two fighters for a match to take place, so figuring out what’s happening with “Khabib’s end” should probably be a top priority for Mayweather’s camp, but aside from that it seems like Mayweather is determined to make the bout a reality.
As you’d probably expect if you’ve followed Mayweather at all over the past decade, the seasoned boxer isn’t willing to change fight sports for the bout and insists that Khabib pretend to be a boxer if he wants to face off. The same was true of Mayweather’s fight with McGregor which, despite the UFC hype man landing a few blows, was never much of a contest.
The same will obviously be true for Nurmagomedov, who is a skilled grappler and possesses what might be the best ground game in the UFC. He’s not a boxer, and one-punch knockout power isn’t a direct translation from the UFC to a boxing ring. But you don’t have to win to get paid and let’s be honest, that’s what this is all about in the end.
Mayweather expects a “nine-figure payday” for the match, meaning he wants to earn a minimum of $100 million to fight the current UFC lightweight champion. Nurmagomedov would stand to cash in as well of course, and since the Nevada State Athletic Commission is playing keep-away with the champion’s fight purse due to the post-fight melee, he probably wouldn’t mind sticking it to the UFC and cashing a big boxing check in the process.