When the UFC sent Khabib Nurmagomedov two contracts to fight Eddie Alvarez, one for UFC 205 New York City and the other for UFC 206 in Toronto, many assumed that the lightweight contender was guaranteed a title fight in the foreseeable future. However, it appears he was simply a negotiation tactic to weaken Conor Mcgregor’s leverage.
According to Khabib’s father and longtime coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib was used to lower McGregor and Alvarez’s respective asking prices ahead of the promotion’s landmark show in Madison Square Garden.
“By sending a contract to Khabib, the UFC has reduced the overall cost of UFC 205 by $4 million dollars. According to rumors, McGregor wanted to fight for six or seven million, and Alvarez for one million,” Abdulmanap told Match TV. “At this point, Habib was sent two contracts and he signed them. Alvarez with McGregor then calmed down because nobody wanted to fight Khabib. As a result, Alvarez will earn $500,000 and McGregor around $3.5 million. There are some bonuses, but the fact is that they have halved the fees. That's for sure.”
The Dagestan native added that Khabib was offered $100,000 as compensation for being used as a negotiation tool but turned down the offer.
“Habib was offered $100,000 compensation for the cancelled fight. He refused, and said: "Give me the opportunity to fight the best." On the same evening, he was offered a fight with Michael Johnson for the same fee.”
Abdulmanap’s claims come a few short weeks after his son threatened to keep the UFC out of Russia is he was not given a title fight after UFC 205.
"UFC thinks Conor has power?” Khabib said on The Luke Thomas Show, “Ireland only has like 6 million people. I am from Russia, 150 million people. If UFC don't give me the title fight after this fight, I'm going to show how I have power in Russia and I know if I don't fight for the title next fight, UFC will never ever go to Russia."
UFC 205 is scheduled to take place on November 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Listen to Karim Zidan discuss Khabib’s recent threats to keep the UFC out of Russia and why they should be taken seriously here.