Ever since UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor at UFC 229 earlier this month, there has been major speculation about who the current champion will fight next. Among those who have shown interest in taking on the challenge is undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.
And the Nurmagomedov vs. Mayweather fight might actually happen, said UFC President Dana White, according to Mirror. But there’s a catch. Because the UFC chief has no interest in allowing his lightweight champion to switch sports, if Mayweather wants to challenge the Russian champion, he will have to do it in the Octagon, White said.
“Listen, if Mayweather wants to fight, come fight. You fight in the UFC. We’re not boxing him. We did that once. That’s over,” White is quoted as saying, according to TMZ, referring to Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, which came in at the second-highest pay-per-view fight of all time and resulted in yet another win for the American boxer.
Nurmagomedov, 30, challenged Mayweather to a face-off, which Mayweather accepted, contending he would make another nine figures by coming out of retirement for his 51st fight. However, Mayweather expressed his willingness to fight the Russian fighter in the boxing ring, and hasn’t addressed the possibility of switching sports.
According to TMZ, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has offered to personally train Floyd for the challenge, adding that he truly believes the 41-year-old could have real success in the Octagon.
White had previously shut down rumors that a potential fight between Mayweather and Nurmagomedov would happen, saying that his organization hadn’t talked with anybody from Mayweather’s side, the Inquisitr previously reported.
Nurmagomedov became one of the most talked about personalities in the world of fighting sports after beating Ireland’s McGregor at UFC 229, not just because of his feat, but also because of the ugly scenes that unfolded and violence that erupted after. Nurmagomedov jumped out of the Octagon in an attempt to attack a member of McGregor’s camp, a scene that quickly became viral. He later said that he regretted his actions and apologized, but highlighted his disdain for McGregor’s antics, according to another previous Inquisitr report.
“First of all, I want to say sorry to Nevada Athletic Commission and second to Vegas. I know this is not my best side. I’m a human being. But I don’t understand how people can talk about how I jump on the cage. [McGregor] talked about my religion, he talked about my country, he talked about my father,” he said.