Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, has gained extreme popularity following his victory in a fight against now "retired" Conor McGregor in October 2018. The Russian fighter is expected to appear in the Octagon to face interim UFC lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, later this year, APA reports citing Sputnik.
A fight between Khabib and Poirier slated to take place on 7 September was signed along with a new contract between the fighter and the UFC.
"We're extremely happy," Nurmagomedov's manager Ali Abdel-Aziz said about the new contract as cited by MMAFighting. "We're well taken care of. We can't ask for any better. We are very grateful. The easiest negotiation I ever did. It was fair, straight to the point. This is one of the biggest deals in UFC history. I don't care about Conor [McGregor], I don't care this is one of the biggest guaranteed money [contracts] in UFC history. When you do this kind of deal, people normally burn bridges. The bridges only got stronger, that's all I'm going to say."
Khabib's manager noted that the UFC by signing the new contract with the fighter "made a good business decision on their behalf," and one of the possible reasons for that is that " Khabib is the pound-for-pound greatest fighter we've ever seen."
"He's never lost. He's never been caught. He's never been dropped. He's dominated every round against almost every opponent. No [performance-enhancing drugs], nothing.
"This is why he's the highest-paid athlete in the UFC today. Believe me. He's the highest-paid athlete in the UFC today. And I'm saying that again because I see everything. They showed me everything. Khabib is the highest-paid athlete in the UFC and we are happy. It's time to fight," Ali Abdel-Aziz said.