UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will likely be facing former titleholder Conor McGregor for his first title defense. If and when it does materialize, the undefeated Russian fighter is calling to be rightfully compensated.
Speaking to reporter Adam Glyn on the streets of New York City, Khabib confirmed that negotiations have indeed begun for the McGregor fight. At the same time, he refuses to be a mere stepping stone for both the UFC and McGregor to take home a fat paycheck.
“We’re just beginning negotiations,” Nurmagomedov said (transcript via MMANYTT). “I don’t know. It’s about UFC, it’s about Conor too, ‘cause they make decision but interesting situation. If they want to make money fight, they have to pay me, too. I’m not going to give him chance to use my name, Conor makes money, UFC makes money and I make $200,000. No way.”
“If they want me to fight on my current contract, I can fight but OK give me Dustin Poirier. I’m going to follow my contract. But if they want to use my name and use me to make money for Conor and the UFC, no way.”
“If you want a money fight, pay me money,” he added.
Khabib vs. McGregor is being arranged to happen at UFC 229 on October 6th in Las Vegas. The only fight that has been reportedly confirmed for the said card, so far, is a flyweight matchup between Jussier Formiga and Sergio Pettis.