It’s a question of what’s next for UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after defeating Conor McGregor and a boxing matchup with Floyd Mayweather Jr has been touted. FOX Sports Asia explores the positives and negatives of the fight if it materialises.
The rise of Khabib Nurmagomedov in the last nine days has been nothing short of extraordinary, with the UFC lightweight champion reaching unprecedented heights of superstardom in the wake of his victory over Conor McGregor. From appearing on Russian TV shows to meeting Vladimir Putin himself, it’s been quite the journey for a man who, ironically enough, could be on the verge of a lengthy suspension courtesy of his actions after the fight at UFC 229.
Whether it be inside the Octagon or elsewhere, it certainly seems like Khabib is planning for the future, with the man himself hinting at the idea of a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. This is an idea that probably sounds a little bit familiar to most of you reading this, given that The Notorious One did the exact same thing last August.
The difference, though, in terms of how appealing it would be, is absolutely staggering. In addition to the newly revealed ties between both men and Ramzan Kadyrov, Khabib’s star doesn’t feel like it’s quite big enough to compete with someone like Floyd. Don’t get us wrong, he’s still one of MMA’s biggest names after his tremendous performance against Conor, but the thing that made Conor vs Floyd so special is that it legitimately felt like a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Plus, and this can’t be stated enough, McGregor’s striking is still far better than Khabib’s. That may sound like an odd remark to make given that Nurmagomedov actually dropped McGregor, but that was more down to Conor seemingly underestimating his rival. Floyd won’t be so kind, and to say that Khabib would lose his biggest tool with his wrestling would be a dramatic understatement.
We’re really intrigued to see what Khabib can do with the Lightweight Championship in terms of building a legacy for himself with the title, and as long as he’s able to avoid any lengthy suspensions, that’s exactly what should happen next in terms of his career trajectory. Sure, a fight against Tony Ferguson may not be quite as lucrative, but it’s certainly the better alternative – at least in our eyes.
The sport of mixed martial arts is in a really bizarre place right now and that’s something we’ll expand on at a later date, but when push comes to shove, we really think this would be a bad idea.