Khabib Nurmagomedov cost Conor McGregor $3.5 million, according to his father
Reason, perhaps, for the sh**-show in The Barclays Center loading bay and bad blood before, during and after Khabib's UFC 229 win over McGregor.
McGregor and Nurmagomedov have been on a collision course for a number of years but, back at UFC 205, they were fighting on the same card.
The Dubliner had been granted a shot at then lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez while Nurmagomedov was slated to fight Michael Johnson.
Nurmagomedov was one of many fighters unhappy with the fact that 'The Notorious' got a crack at the 155lbs title and remains utterly convinced that he was used as a bargaining tool for the promotion as it aimed to reduce the costs of putting together the night's headliner.
According to Nurmagomedov's father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 'The Eagle' was played so that the UFC could pay less for the services of McGregor and Alvarez.
McGregor reportedly wanted $7 million for the fight, while Alvarez wanted $1 million, but when the UFC threatened to give Nurmagomedov the title shot, neither fighter could command such a high price-tag.
“By sending a contract to Khabib, the UFC has reduced the overall cost of UFC 205 by $4 million. According to rumours, McGregor wanted to fight for six or seven million, and Alvarez for one million," Abdulmanap told Match TV, as translated by 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.”
According to the father of 'The Eagle', the UFC also offered Nurmagomedov a fee of $100,000 as something of a peace offering for using the undefeated lightweight as a negotiating tool but that he turned it down, instead accepting a fight against Michael Johnson.
He said: "Khabib was offered $100,000 compensation for the cancelled 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."
Nurmagomedov is one of the most devastating 155lbers in the world and, at UFC 223, he was declared the undisputed champion [after McGregor was stripped] when he defeated Al Iaquinta.
McGregor must face up to his attack on a bus carrying Nurmagomedov, and several UFC fighters, at a press event prior to that PPV. He is due in court, in Brooklyn, on June 14th but if he avoids jail time, a fight with 'The Eagle' may yet be booked before the end of 2018.
"UFC thinks Conor has power?” Khabib told The Luke Thomas Show back in 2016. "Ireland only has, like, 6 million people. I am from Russia, 150 million people. I'm going to show how I have power in Russia."