Will We See Khabib Vs. Mayweather In 2019?

Earlier this month saw Khabib Nurmagomedov go 27-0 against the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor in UFC 229; now it seems the lightweight champion may switch up the game (literally) and take on the undefeated boxing champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., in 2019.

After defending the lightweight title, Nurmagomedov stated to the press:

“Hey, let’s go, Floyd!… We have to fight now. 50-0 vs. 27-0. Two guys never lose. Let’s go. Why not? Because in the jungle, only one king. Only one king. Of course, I am the king because he cannot drop McGregor, but I drop him easily. Let’s go!”

Mayweather responded in an interview with TMZ, stating:

“Oh, we fighting. 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.”

The 50-0 boxing champion made it clear that he would only fight on his terms: the fight will happen in a boxing ring, not an MMA octagon. The potential fight has already released odds, with Irish bookmaker site, Paddy Power, ranking Mayweather as the 1/25 favourite over Khabib’s 17/2 odds.

The Russian fighter’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has already expressed the team’s desire, claiming that they are currently in talks to make the fight happen. Abdelaziz says that the only real challenge in putting the event into gear is Nurmagomedov’s contract with the UFC.

In fact, the president of the UFC, Dana White, is using the lightweight champion’s contact as means to dispute any claims of a potential fight between Mayweather and Nurmagomedov, rather declaring it to be the boxing champion trying to ‘get his name out there.’

White, however, may be quick to shut down any claims, as Nurmagomedov has even threatened to quit UFC all together if his team mate, Zubaira Tukhugov, is banned from the mixed martial art league. Tukhugov’s UFC career is on thin ice as he, in the midst of the post-McGregor/Nurmagomedov fight chaos, jumped into the octagon and punched the Irish fighter.

The Russian MMA fighter is expected to face Nevada’s State Athletics Commission later this week due to the post-fight brawl, which saw Nurmagomedov jump into the crowd and attack McGregor’s corner man, Dillon Danis. As a result of this incident, the lightweight champion’s earnings from the fight have been withheld.

The whole ordeal with the UFC and NSAC may be the exact push Nurmagomedov needs to follow through with the anticipated boxing match against Mayweather. He expressed in an Instagram post to the undefeated boxing champ that he would not fight in Las Vegas as ‘they won’t pay my money.’

Abdelaziz stated in an interview with ESPN:

“You have a guy who is 50-0, a guy who is 27-0. Both have never tasted defeat. Khabib brings 2.5 billion Muslims around the world, some of the richest countries in the world, and they’re behind him. Floyd Mayweather is a megastar. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. If the two forces clash, that’s a real fight,”

…a testimony to how intense the duel would be and how profitable it could be for both fighters.

While Nurmagomedov’s stance in the UFC is seemingly in limbo, and his reputation with the NSAC is in jeopardy; only time will tell if this boxing match against two undefeated greats will be expected in 2019.

Daniel Mitri

Daniel Mitri is a Toronto-based writer with an interest in music, travel and food. Aside from writing, he spends most of his time playing bass guitar and frequenting 24-hour restaurants. Follow him on Twitter @MitriTweets.

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