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Khabib Nurmagomedov offered Tony Ferguson $200K to ‘shut up and take this fight’

Gallery Photo: UFC 160 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tony Ferguson has made it abundantly clear that money is an issue standing in the way of a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Specifically, the fact Nurmagomedov is being paid more than Ferguson.

Nurmagomedov, for his part, wants to get this highly anticipated No. 1 contender’s fight signed and delivered. So much so that he’s willing to pay in order to make the bout happen at UFC 209 on March 4.

“I said, let’s go,” Nurmagomedov said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I want to fight with him. I don’t want to talk with him, I want to fight with him. It’s why I said, let’s go, I’ll give you $200,000 and you have to take this fight and we have to fight March 4, UFC 209.”

The way Nurmagomedov sees things, sure, Ferguson’s current nine-fight win streak is impressive, but the Russian fighter is 24-0 on his career and is wildly popular in his homeland of about 200 million people. That’s why Nurmagomedov believes he should be paid more.

“Why you need to make money like this? Why?” the American Kickboxing Academy competitor asked. “You need to shut up and take this fight. This is what you need to do. I am tired about this. I don’t know. I ask Tony about $200,000. It’s good money. Why not? His contract he makes maybe $100-200,000, and I give him $200,000. That’s good money. He has to take this fight.

“With me [is] all of Russia. With me, USA,” he continued. “Who’s with him? California? I don’t think so.”

Ferguson, who also appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, made it clear he’s not accepting any money from Nurmagomedov, as this is a contractual impasse with the company. But Nurmagomedov used his own example from this fall -- in which he accepted a fight for far less money with Michael Johnson after having a title fight with Eddie Alvarez pulled out from under him -- as his example that sometimes you have to take the longer view.

“I never think about money,” Nurmagomedov said. “When UFC ask me something, when they gave me a title shot with Eddie Alvarez, I was supposed to make almost $1 million, but UFC gave me this fight for Conor McGregor, then they give me Michael Johnson and I make $100,000. I make 10 times less money than I supposed to make. But I don’t say nothing. I take the fight. If I lose, I lose everything.”

No matter how much money either fighter makes, though, Nurmagomedov says his credentials point to another victory if the Ferguson bout is made.

“He talks about nine[-fight] win streak, I’m talking 24-win streak,” Nurmagomedov said. “You know? Eight years undefeated. You look at Michael Johnson, Michael Johnson beat him. I beat Michael Johnson. He’ll fight me dos Anjos, close fight. I dominated dos Anjos. 100 percent he loses this fight.”

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