We’re only a few days removed from the madness that was UFC 229, but talks of a potential rematch between current Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and former titleholder, Conor McGregor, are already running wild.
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After “The Eagle” subbed “Notorious” in the fourth round of their headlining fight last Saturday night (Oct. 6, 2018) in Las Vegas, Nevada (see it), not only did he hang onto his belt by scoring his biggest victory to date, he also gained some leverage for his next payday. So if UFC wants a do-over with the fiery Irishman, the promotion is going to have to open up its bank account a bit wider for Khabib.
“If you want a rematch, if the people want a rematch, if they are going to buy into a rematch, they are going to have to pay Khabib,” said Luke Rockhold during a recent edition of The Ariel Helwani MMA Show.
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“Khabib doesn’t need anything at this point in his life. So they are going to have to give him a very, very hefty paycheck. Probably the biggest paycheck in the world, in the history of MMA guaranteed on his side. I know Khabib, I have talked with Khabib and if you want a rematch, he will demand a record-breaking number.”
Nurmagomeodv scored a massive $2 million payday for his fight against McGregor, though it’s currently being withheld by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) as punishment for leaping over the Octagon and nearly inciting a riot.
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According to UFC president Dana White, he doesn’t anticipate the governing body to completely take all of Khabib’s earnings, but it will likely dock him a decent percentage before giving him his paycheck.
At least he gets to keep his belt.
Regarding a potential rematch, White did reveal McGregor has been chirping in his ear to run it back despite getting handily defeated. While another fight between the two would obviously do gangbusters at the box office, there is one man who is ready to intercept the fight to take what’s rightfully his.
As far as record-breaking paychecks are concerned — despite getting a reported $3 million for his services at UFC 229 — McGregor promised that he would score at least $50 million once all is said and done. That means UFC is going to have to come correct with Khabib’s next payday if it wants to see them go at it again.