UFC president Dana White says he has not been contacted by anyone associated with Floyd Mayweather regarding a boxing match against Khabib Nurmagomedov, despite both camps expressing interest in public.
“Don’t pay attention to it,” White told ESPN. “First of all, the Mayweather team has not approached us at all. Khabib is under contract with the UFC. Floyd is very good about getting his name out there when he wants to.”
Nurmagomedov (27-0), the UFC’s lightweight champion, is coming off a submission victory against Conor McGregor in the highest-selling fight in UFC history.
He recently appeared in an online video alongside Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe, telling Mayweather, “we have to fight.” The currently retired Mayweather (50-0) has since responded, telling TMZ earlier this week his team can “make it happen.”
Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN on Thursday that Nurmagomedov would certainly entertain the idea.
“I’m talking to everybody right now,” Abdelaziz said. “At the end of the day, Khabib is a UFC fighter. He has a contract with the UFC and we respect the contract. … But we’re open, if Floyd wants to box Khabib.
“You have a guy who is 50-0, a guy who is 27-0. Both have never tasted defeat. Khabib brings 2.5 billion Muslims around the world, some of the richest countries in the world, and they’re behind him. Floyd Mayweather is a megastar. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. If the two forces clash, that’s a real fight.”
As far as Nurmagomedov’s next fight in the UFC, White said the promotion has not given it serious thought. Nurmagomedov is currently under temporary suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his post-fight actions at UFC 229, and is facing a disciplinary suspension that would likely spill into 2019.
McGregor (21-4) is already campaigning for a rematch. Abdelaziz said he doubts the Irish star truly wants one.
“He say he want it, but he don’t want it,” Abdelaziz said. “How you want something like that? How you want a nightmare hunting you for 25 minutes? You have to understand, Khabib carried this boy. Khabib could have finished in the first, second, third round. He finished him in the fourth round. He carried him to punish him.
“Conor was an enemy, a true enemy to all of us. When you defeat an enemy, you move on — especially when the enemy surrenders.”