Floyd Mayweather accepts Khabib fight challenge, predicts bigger payday than McGregor fight
If you thought Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor was the only MMA/Boxing crossover we would get for a while, you'd be dead wrong.
It made sense for the Irish UFC fighter to get into the ring - after all, he is notorious for trash-talking, pulling off ludicrous stunts, rising to the challenge, and is an expert at self-promotion. Khabib Nurmagomedov has a very different mentality, but it seems that it has led him down the same path.
The lead-up to UFC 229, where McGregor and Khabib faced off, took a while to get heated - but once it did, it was red hot. McGregor was putting on a show for the press and fans of the sport, insulting Khabib and even downing whiskey during their first press conference. While the Russian fighter seemed to keep his cool for the most part, by time it got to the night of the fight, his patience reached its limits.
Khabib's anger certainly drove him during the fight, with audio catching some verbal sparring accompanying the blows. Throughout the fight, Khabib repeated the words "let's talk," over and over. After McGregor tapped out in the fourth round, he continued to repeat this, leading to McGregor saying "it's only business, it's just business".
This didn't calm down Khabib one bit, and only seconds later he had leapt into the crowd to attack one of McGregor's training partners.
Nurmagomedov later claimed that his anger came from repeated insults targeted at his family, country and religion, which he believed went way over the line. However, it's not as if this energy has dissipated at all - as he recently started looking for a fight outside of his native sport. Standing beside Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Khabib said:
"Hey let’s go Floyd, we have to fight now. 50 and 0 versus 27 and 0, two guys that never lose. Let’s go, why not? Cause in the jungle only one king, only one king.
"Of course I am the king. Because he [Mayweather] can not drop McGregor but I drop him easily."
Now, Mayweather has responded to the post, first in a Instagram post and later in a full statement on the possibility of a fight. After he heard Khabib's comments, he encouraged CBS, Showtime and the MGM Grand to "get the checkbook out!" on Instagram.
Now, the 41-year-old boxer has said that he believes a fight with Nurmagomedov could earn him even more money than his fight with McGregor last year. Mayweather, being one of the only celebs who actually wants to talk to TMZ, literally flashed a handful of cash, and said:
"Oh, we fighting. He called me out. So, he gotta come to my world. I'm my own boss. So, I can't say what's going on on Khabib's end. But, on my end, we can make it happen.
"When I face Khabib I'm getting a nine-figure payday. It's more than the McGregor fight. Probably $100m more, guaranteed. I'm going to say somewhere between $110m and $200m guaranteed."
Considering Khabib's purse from UFC 229 has been withheld until the Nevada Athletic Commission completes a full investigation, and he is likely facing a temporary suspension from the sport, he might give in and face Floyd on his home turf.