“Habib has no time to respond to provocation”
The manager of the Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov Rizvan Magomedov confirmed the information that his return to the octagon is most likely to take place in the spring of 2020. Negotiations are underway with the promotion, and the exact time and place of the battle should become known in December. As a rival, former UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is called.
“Until we sign the papers, I can’t say that this is a resolved issue. Although today it looks exactly like that. As I understand it, Georges Saint-Pierre cannot agree with the UFC, his team has some disagreements with the promotion. Until this situation is resolved, the main contender for the fight with Habib is Ferguson. There are no others, ”Magomedov said in an interview with Sport-Express.
In addition, the manager also touched on the prize that Nurmagomedov received for meeting with Irishman Conor McGregor and American Dustin Porrier. According to him, the UFC has not decided to disclose information about the fees of fighters, so the information appearing in the media does not always correspond to reality. It was reported that for the victory over the ex-champion in featherweight and lightweight, the Russians paid $ 2 million, and for the second defense of the title - three times more.
“$ 6 million is an understated figure. I think when Abdulmanap (Nurmagomedov, the father of Khabib. - RT ) spoke about 3–3.5 times, he had in mind the whole amount - including deductions from the sold broadcasts. But Habib earned a lot more for the fight with Porje than for the meeting with McGregor, ”Magomedov added.
MacGregor has repeatedly stated his desire to revenge with Nurmagomedov. Trying to provoke a former rival, the Irishman repeatedly allowed himself to make incorrect statements about him. However, the Russian preferred not to respond to the offender.
“Whatever his attacks, we do not respond to him. To the “cage” - please, at any time, but at least get a series of three victories. Khabib could not answer the provocation in any way, and he didn’t have time: on the day four or five meetings, exercise, training, ”quotes the words of Nurmagomedov Sr. TASS.
A member of the McGregor team, an Irish fighter of Russian origin, Artyom Lobov, spoke about relations with Nurmagomedov. In April 2018, athletes quarreled in a hotel in New York on the eve of the UFC 223 tournament. According to him, the conflict has not yet been resolved, however, this benefits its popularity.
“We have an unfinished business, but I think that in due time the point will be set. Now this is still a long way off. I have a lot of fans in Russia, obviously, Khabib also. And his fans always have something to say about me, but I don't care. Thanks to this, my name remains in the headlines, in search queries, and, accordingly, my salary is at a high level, ”Lobova quotes MMAJunkie.
Nurmagomedov is one of the most popular athletes in the country, and the number of his followers on Instagram is 18 million. Not so long ago, he surpassed the famous TV presenter Olga Buzova in this indicator and came out on top of the list of Russians. The athlete admitted that he was pleased to be the owner of this "title", but he does not pay attention to such things.
In turn, the representative of show business said that she also does not monitor the virtual confrontation with the MMA fighter.
“Have I again bypassed Nurmagomedov? I don’t follow. But Instagram is part of my life. I have 16.4 million subscribers, soon there will be 16.5 million. People are accustomed to the fact that I constantly cover my life. When I disappear for one or two days, they begin to write to my family, ”said Buzova on Love Radio.
“Habib - the new Muhammad Ali”
Mixed martial arts continue to gain popularity in Russia. According to Andrei Gromkovsky, vice president of UFC in Russia and the CIS countries, Nurmagomedov’s success has contributed significantly to this. He noted that the fighter is actively involved in the life of the promotion and helps the promotion of domestic fighters.
“For many, Khabib is the new Muhammad Ali. This is a person who is popular not only in individual countries, but throughout the world. People freeze in front of the screen when they watch his battles. We really want us to have more such champions, and, of course, we are actively working in this direction, ”Interfax quotes Gromkovsky.
He emphasized that in Russia there are many promising fighters who in the near future can reach the same heights as Nurmagomedov.
“For example, in the main fight of our UFC Fight Night 163 tournament, Zabit Magomedsharipov made a speech, which many predict will soon be a fight for the championship belt. Alexander Volkov, Peter Yan have great prospects, many fighters have potential, ”added the functionary.
As for the more distant prospects, the other day the opening of the first Russian junior MMA league - the Junior Fighting Championship. Athletes from 12 to 17 years old will become its participants, and the first tournament under its auspices will be held on November 16th.
One of the indicators of increased interest in MMA was the broadcast of the Nurmagomedov-Porie battle on Channel One. The representative of the heavy weight category UFC Alexander Volkov made a commentator. He admitted that he agreed to broadcast free of charge.
“I have an excellent relationship with Habib, I personally saw him several times, he impressed me as a well-mannered man. I communicate very well with his father Abdulmanap. Therefore, at the time of the tournament, I was already on the side of Nurmagomedov. Nevertheless, he tried to emphasize good points with both Porje and Conor, ”Sports.ru quotes the fighter.
“Break White with one hit”
Meanwhile, it became known who could become the next opponent of Zabit Magomedsharipov, who defeated American Calvin Kattar in the framework of the Moscow UFC Fight Night tournament. According to Magomedov, representing the interests of the Russian citizen, his title fight in the featherweight category is a priority. A backup option is a meeting with the Mexican Yair Rodries.
“We need to see how the duel between Max Holloway and Alex Volkanovsky ends. It may be that someone is injured, will fly out for a long time, because of which they will have to wait a long time. Naturally, the title fight is in our plans, but if it does not work out, then Zabit will hold a five-round rating meeting, ”the manager said.
Another topic of discussion in recent days has been the possible transition of former boxing champion IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Tyson Fury to mixed martial arts. The desire to hold a meeting with him has already been expressed by the current holder of the UFC heavyweight belt, Stipe Miocic. At the same time, Dana White, president of promotion, doubted that the boxer would be competitive in MMA.
John Fury, who also engaged in boxing in his youth, stood up for his son. He challenged the head of the organization, assuring that he himself is still in good shape.
“How can he assume this when Tyson is from a family of fighters? I’m probably going to break White with one blow. What right does he have to say like that about my son? It is impossible to write off a person with such abilities, courage and desire for victory, as he has. Dana is talking nonsense. Let him try to tell me that. I will go against him today. I am the best, strongest 54-year-old man in the world and am ready to prove it anywhere and anytime for free or for money, ”quotes Fury, senior Boxingscene.