2018 was a big year for Khabib Nurmagomedov. After winning the undisputed (but heavily disputed) lightweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223, Nurmagomedov went on to dominate Conor McGregor at UFC 229, silencing the dispute about his title and making himself a major star in the process. Such was the nature of his newfound star power that even Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interested in fighting him, and even though UFC President Dana White has downplayed the idea, Mayweather still seems intent on making it happen, at least, so says Nurmagomedov’s manager.
Speaking recently with TMZSports, Ali Abdelaziz said that Mayweather has been blowing up his phone trying to make a fight with the UFC lightweight champion happen.
“Me and him have been texting each other for the last month and if he says he did not, I’m gonna put everything on line. Do not lie, Floyd,” said Abdelaziz. “He’s very much begging for the fight. I told him, I said he’s 57 years old, his body’s weak, he’s fragile, he’s got a small head. People think I’m crazy but I think Khabib would beat his ass. He thinks Khabib is easy money but Khabib is much younger, much stronger, more tougher than Conor, a guy that went to the eleventh round with him. And Conor gave up, he’s a quitter. Khabib is no quitter.”
Talk of this fight first came about when Khabib attended a boxing event and ran into the CEO of Mayweather’s promotional team, Leonard Ellerbe, where Khabib pitched the idea. Since then, the two sides have both shown an interest in the bout and have continued to talk about it publicly, hoping the bout might gain inertia like Mayweather’s fight with McGregor did. However, with The Money Fight, McGregor had Dana White in support of the idea and White has already said he has no interest in making this happen unless it is in MMA, something Mayweather has out-and-out rejected. But White has often said things that ended up not being true and as for Khabib, he has no issue boxing with Mayweather.
“Listen, Floyd Mayweather is not a fighter, he’s an athlete,” Abdelaziz said. “[In] the UFC, you have to be a full blown fighter. If we catch Floyd Mayweather on the streets, we’ll beat his ass because he can’t defend himself. He’s an athlete. He doesn’t have enough balls to fight in a real fight. Khabib will fight you in an elevator, phone booth, [he’ll] fight you anywhere. Floyd Mayweather only can fight you in a boxing ring. He’s gonna call himself a fighter, okay, but he don’t have the balls to go to the UFC so we will fight him in a boxing fight and beat his ass, no problem.”
Abdelaziz is certainly right about one thing, Nurmagomedov will fight anywhere. The UFC lightweight champion is currently stuck on the sidelines while he waits for a punishment to be handed down from the Nevada Athletic Commission for jumping into the crowd after UFC 229 to fight McGregor’s friend and training partner Dillon Danis, inciting a massive brawl. But that’s not the actual hold-up on making a fight with Mayweather. According to Abdelaziz, the real reason the match with Floyd hasn’t been made yet is that “Money” Mayweather isn’t making it worth Khabib’s while.
“At the end of the day, if he wants it, the fight is here,” said Abdelaziz. “We like this fight, but he has to come a little bit better with it. He knows what I’m talking about.”
Rematch. Cris Cyborg wants rematch with Amanda Nunes, but Dana White isn’t keen on the idea.
UFC 232 post-fight show.
Luke’s post-fight show.
Rizin is the dopest.
For talking so much ish, Floyd really doesn’t want anyone to kick him, ever.
Company man right there.
6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 232.
Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 232, Jones-Gus, Nunes-Cyborg, and drug testing.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
“Our time will come”.
@JonnyBones I don’t think you should come, if you do it becomes about you and I and that’s not what this is about. Too much hostility. I believe we should let this match be about the kids. Not fair to the kids. Our time will come! https://t.co/qhduT1nh5A— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 30, 2018
Meanwhile, Askren taking the other road.
Most parents don’t want Coke heads who use PEDs and do hit and runs on pregnant women being role models. https://t.co/VD02d0bzAP— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 30, 2018
Yeah, Dana is insane.
The Champ Champ.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 30, 2018
Can you imagine the hellfire JBJ will rain down on him?
He ain’t wrong.
There is nothing quite like the pageantry of Japanese MMA on NYE...— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 31, 2018
This is awesome.
Moving on up in the world.
We did it again. Would never be possible without the support from my team, family and friends ! I’m blown away by the amount of support I’m getting from you guys , means the . @ufceurope @ufc pic.twitter.com/45bpHSxXWV— Nathaniel wood (@TheProspectMMA) December 30, 2018
Sage plotting to ransom the world.
Could you make it past me and my chair? pic.twitter.com/4WnWKOZlKc— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) December 30, 2018
Conor’s still on top of the game.
Food for thought.
A cell biologist (I verified his identity) wrote me to say a picogram is not incomprehensibly small. In fact, he argues, it's much bigger than we think. Here's his argument: pic.twitter.com/vqzmvcBAEV— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 28, 2018
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2004: At Pride Shockwave 2004, Fedor Emelianenko defended his Pride heavyweight title, dominating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in their third fight. Also that evening, Mark Hunt unveiled the atomic butt drop on Wanderlei Silva and Ryo Chonan tapped Anderson Silva with a flying scissor heel hook. Pride ruled.
UFC 232 was definitely one of the better events of the year. Two Submission of the Year candidates plus a KO of the Year candidate and two fighters staking their respective claims as GOATS. Damn good fun all-around. No Morning Report tomorrow, for obvious reasons. Happy New Year and see y’all on Wednesday.
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