Khabib issues challenge to Floyd Mayweather while standing next to the CEO of Mayweather Promotions
While we're all focused on the rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov at the moment, it was only last year that the world was obsessed with the Irish MMA fighter's relationship with boxer Floyd Mayweather.
The pair fought it out in the boxing ring year last year, with the American coming out on top in his natural sport. When he heard about the mounting rivalry between Khabib and Conor, Mayweather commented on their upcoming fight at UFC 229, giving some advice to the Russian UFC fighter.
"Conor's not gonna back down and he's not a scared fighter at all, win, lose or draw," Mayweather said when questioned in Atlantic City. "Conor gonna come to fight." He then went on to call McGregor a "warrior" and said that he's "not gonna back down from anyone".
"I don't really have a prediction because I've never seen the guy fight that's facing Conor McGregor," he said of Khabib, "from what I know he's a hell of a guy that's on the ground - hell of a grappler - and he can wrestle."
It turns out that this grappling and wrestling did Khabib some major favours in the octagon, as he managed to get McGregor in a choke hold in the fourth round of the fight, winning the match.
However, in the aftermath of the fight, Khabib didn't come out looking particularly professional. Allegedly responding to weeks of insults, he leapt into the crowd to attack one of McGregor's training partners. Meanwhile, three of his teammates rushed the stage and assaulted McGregor.
In the following days, there has been even more drama, with Khabib threatening to leave the UFC, the three culprits being arrested, and both McGregor and Nurmagomedov issued with temporary bans for their actions that night. Soon after, Mayweather weighed in on what he thought of the night:
"I’m not too familiar with the guy McGregor was fighting, but I know the guy he was facing was undefeated. McGregor is a tough competitor but McGregor’s opponent jumped out of the ring and was fighting people in the crowd so, very unprofessional.
"It’s going to be a huge fine I’m pretty sure because with my fight against Zab Judah, there was a crazy melee in the ring and a huge penalty - a huge fine. If I’m not mistaken, seven figures.
"Not to me, but could have been to Zab Judah or my uncle Roger or even Leonard Ellerbe, so I know when a guy’s jumping out of the cage into the audience and fighting different people, the fine is going to be crazy."
And it seems that his comments have had an effect on Khabib, who seems like he wants to fight everyone these days. Standing beside Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, he declared:
"Hey let’s go Floyd, we have to fight now. 50 and 0 versus 27 and 0, two guys that never lose. Let’s go, why not? Cause in the jungle only one king, only one king.
"Of course I am the king. Because he [Mayweather] can not drop McGregor but I drop him easily."
It's worth noting that this is a bit of false equivalence... after all, both of them faced off against McGregor in different sports. However, considering Mayweather seems to be on track to step into the octagon and try out MMA with the Irishman, we can see how he fares in the sport sometime in the near future.