“Close to having PPV in Russia”
At the end of the UFC 242 tournament in Abu Dhabi, a press conference was held, during which the participants in the main match of the evening and the promotion president Dana White answered questions. The functionary was the first to share his impressions of the fight for the lightweight title, talked about a possible rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor and answered the question about holding the first PPV show in Russia.
- How do you rate the performance of Khabib Nurmagomedov in the battle with Dustin Porrier?
“Habib looked amazing.” He is very good. Dustin resisted great, but Nurmagomedov completely dominated today.
- After the fight, Nurmagomedov and Porie exchanged T-shirts. How did you react to this?
- It is very cool. They respect each other very much. Everyone likes how Habib behaves. Undoubtedly, the press conference after his battle with McGregor was the darkest for me in my career. But in the end you see that Nurmagomedov is a very cool guy and treats everyone well. Dustin is also a very nice person.
- The champion promised to sell a T-shirt and donate all the proceeds to the fund of his counterpart ...
- This is very impressive. From myself I can say that I will invest as much as Habib.
- In your opinion, is Nurmagomedov different from other fighters?
- It is definitely special. Habib is a couple of fights from the status of the greatest fighter in UFC history. Being undefeated with such rivals is very cool.
- The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, was present at this tournament. Communicated with him?
“No, I haven't even seen him.” Not familiar with him.
- With whom will Nurmagomedov hold the third defense of the lightweight champion title?
“Ferguson is next in line if he agrees.” Let's see when Habib wants to fight next time and whether Tony agrees to meet with him at that moment.
- Will there be a rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor?
- Yes. Ferguson next will receive the right to fight for the title. But if Tony does not want or cannot accept him, then we will seek a replacement. I think McGregor is a logical choice. I think everyone will be delighted with such a decision.
- You probably thought about the performance of Nurmagomedov at the tournament in Abu Dhabi. But if he lost to Conor McGregor and was not a champion, how would they get out of the situation?
- If we had not managed to arrange a fight between Habib in the UAE, we would have held a duel here between Israel Adesanya and Roberto Whittaker. In Australia, 30 thousand tickets have already been bought for it. As for Abu Dhabi, I can say with confidence that we will return here and organize another large-scale event.
- Should we expect that soon the UFC will organize a Pay-Per- View tournament in Russia?
Yes, we are close enough to conduct a PPV in Russia. The local fan base is simply breaking, there are a lot of talented athletes in the country itself, and today's fight was shown on the largest Russian channel.
- You are hosting the Lookin ' for a Fight show , in which you search for talented fighters around the world. Are you planning to shoot several episodes in Russia?
- There are a lot of serious tournaments. I would be glad to go to Russia and look at the local promising guys.
- Zubayra Tukhugov expressed a desire to return to the octagon in December. What do you think about it?
“If he is healthy, then why not.” I really like athletes who want to be active and constantly perform.
- Recently, many people in Russia are interested in who was the first domestic UFC champion - Nurmagomedov or Taktarov?
- Oleg had a tournament belt, but yes, this is a title. Probably, Taktarova can be called the first champion. If a person won, then we have no right not to consider him the owner of this title. But I do not want to be the one who will be referred to in this matter. Need to ask Joe Silva. He is a real MMA encyclopedia and knows better about it.
“Now I am absolutely broken”
At the press center, Porrier appeared with a loud ovation. Although the American athlete could not win the title of undisputed lightweight champion, he fought fiercely and was close to inflicting the first defeat in his career on Nurmagomedov. So, with difficulty restraining emotions, Dustin admitted that he was very disappointed with the outcome of the fight, after which he showed respect to his counterpart and said that he was not going to fight with Jorge Masvidal.
- What are your impressions after the battle with Nurmagomedov?
“He's very cool, world champion.” Perhaps today I could do more. He prepared very hard for the battle to survive 25 minutes. Now I am absolutely broken.
- What do you mean by “do more”?
“Perhaps I could get out from under it if I put a little more effort into the clinch.” I’ll be thinking about it all my life. I thought I could pick up the last two rounds.
- The impression was that it was not easy for you to work in a rack?
- This is true. I could not catch the rhythm, it was difficult to work with combinations. It sounds like I have a lot of excuses. But I was perfectly prepared for today's battle. I am very upset that it all ended so.
- In the second round, did you feel that you could shock Nurmagomedov?
- I hit him, but he knows how to pretend that he is in order. In my opinion, it was a jab cross combination from a left-handed stance. I saw that something was wrong with him.
- Why didn’t you succeed in closing your legs on Habib’s back when they held a choking reception?
The "guillotine" was very dense. All my life I’ll try to find the answer why I didn’t close the guard (I closed my legs). I threw only one, and he managed to get out. I had to do it.
- How do you evaluate the blows of Nurmagomedov?
“He would not say that they shocked me greatly, but they were strong.”
- Nurmagomedov really so magnificent in the fight?
- I fought with those who are stronger than him physically, but in terms of experience and ability to distribute weight - he is of a different level.
- Habib said that he intends to send the proceeds from the sale of T-shirts to charity ...
- It's great. Now we are building a well in Uganda. We’ll take care of schools in the future. Everything is cool, but today I wanted to leave the champion here. I feel that I have let myself down.
- What plans do you have for the future?
- It’s very difficult to say. I am only 30 years old, but I went through a lot. The past ten weeks, everything has been going fine. I thought that I would become a champion, that it was fate. I do not want to cry in front of you, but I am very upset.
- On November 2, in New York, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will fight. Would you like to meet the winner of this battle?
“Jorge is my friend.” I'm not for sale like Colby Covington. I will not fight with Masvidal. He is my training partner and a good guy. All I can do is go to Florida and help him prepare.