Lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov unintentionally cost Conor McGregor around $3.5 million dollars while the Irishman was negotiating his fight with Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
According to Russian website Match, the UFC sent Nurmagomedov two contracts to fight Alvarez at either UFC 205 in New York or UFC 206 in Toronto.
While many were led to believe Khabib was on the cusp of a lightweight title shot, it was nothing more than a ploy by the promotion to lower the asking price coming from both the McGregor and Alvarez camp.
That’s the sentiment of Khabib’s father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who believes the UFC used his son’s unbeaten streak and him being notorious for throwing people about as a tool to lower the UFC 205 salary for both fighters.
“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 said (transcribed via Bloody Elbow).
“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.”
Following the announcement that McGregor would face Alvarez at Madison Square Garden, Khabib was offered compensation by the promotion for his unwilling part in the fight negotiations.
However, the Dagestan native abruptly turned it down and instead wanted his spot on the UFC 205 card against a high-ranked opponent.
“Habib was offered $100,000 compensation for the canceled 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.”
The featherweight champion will have the opportunity to make UFC history in New York later this month, with victory cementing him as lightweight champion and the first fighter to hold two division titles simultaneously.
The four-hour long main card will also feature a welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson and a women’s strawweight title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
UFC 205 takes place on November 12th at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena