After being absent for nearly a full year, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, 30, is making his return to the octagon this Saturday, September 7 for UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.
His upcoming fight with interim title holder Dustin Poirier, 30, is a 155-pound unification fight. For this fight, Nurmagomedov will take home a hefty payday of at least $6 million, according to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father and coach.
“This time, it (the purse) will be 3-3.5-fold higher,” Abdulmanap told Russian state news agency TASS. “We aren’t fighting for peanuts and we know our value.” For his last fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, Nurmagomedov took home $2 million after he submitted the former champion in the fourth round of their bout.
“That sum (of $2 million) is too little for us because we are the best at the moment,” Abdulmanap said. “We have defeated the best and are ready to keep fighting with the best.
“We are also popular and we know it. When we enter the arena (on Saturday night), you will see for yourself how the audience will greet Poirier and how (they’ll greet) Khabib.”
Nurmagomedov was suspended for nine months and fined $500,000 after he attacked McGregor’s cornerman Dillon Danis following their fight at UFC 229, which led to a chaotic post-fight brawl.
That suspension has since been lifted.
As the man that dethroned McGregor, Nurmagomedov has rightly become UFC’s biggest star. With an undefeated 27-0 record, Nurmagomedov stands head and shoulders above the other UFC fighters, and he’s finally being paid like the sport’s biggest and best fighter.