Ali Abdelaziz, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, makes it clear the lightweight champion doesn’t fight for money.
Nurmagomedov is someone that has made it clear he doesn’t want the rematch with Conor McGregor unless the Irishman wins several fights. But, the Dagestani lightweight champion doesn’t fight for money.
“[Champions should focus on] getting paid – except for one guy,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie at Dominance MMA’s recent media day at Park Theater. “I think everybody should get paid. Khabib is not about getting paid. He’s a little different. I think he should fight for money. That’s what he’s doing this for, [but] Khabib is a little bit different.
“When he leaves, we’re all going to miss him – the way he handled the sport [and] handled himself. I think Khabib could fight for five more years, but if he retired tomorrow, I’m happy. If he fought a fight tomorrow, I’m happy. I want him to do what he wants.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov is scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 at a location TBD. There were reports it would take place in Florida. Yet, the champion is back in Russia so whether or not he even can get back to the United States at this point.
Nurmagomedov is coming off a third-round submission win over Dustin Poirier to defend his lightweight title for the second time. In his first title defense he beat Conor McGregor by submission after beating Al Iaquinta to win the title. The Dagestani champion has notable wins over Michael Johnson, Edson Barboza, Rafael dos Anjos, and Gleison Tibau among others.
Tony Ferguson, meanwhile, is riding a very impressive 12-fight winning streak where he’s coming off a TKO win over Donald Cerrone. Before that, he beat Anthony Pettis by corner stoppage.
What do you make of Ali Abdelaziz saying Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t fight for money?