‘You fight in UFC, we’re not boxing him’ – Mayweather must face Khabib in octagon, says Dana White
UFC chief Dana White says Floyd Mayweather will have to step into the world of MMA if he wants to take on lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov in a much-hyped potential bout between the two unbeaten fighters.
Talk of a match-up between Nurmagomedov and Mayweather has been building since the UFC champ called out the retired boxing great after defeating Conor McGregor earlier in October.
The undefeated Dagestani has said he is willing to switch to boxing to face ‘Money’ Mayweather – like McGregor before him – and naming Moscow’s giant Luzhniki Stadium as his preferred venue for the fight.
Mayweather has named Las Vegas as his favored location, but has implored promoters and Khabib to "make it happen."
However, UFC boss White has again put a dampener on the hype, by saying that 50-0 fighter Mayweather would have to meet under MMA rules to face Nurmagomedov.
“Listen, if Mayweather wants to fight, come fight,” White told TMZ Sports.
“You fight in the UFC. We're not boxing him. We did that once. That's over.” You wanna fight? You come fight... a real fight,” the UFC boss added, referring to Mayweather’s money-spinning bout against McGregor in 2017.
White was seen as a key figure in making that event happen, and the fight netted Mayweather an estimated $275 million, while the Irishman pocketed around $100 million.
The Money Team Russia founder Timofey Kurgin sensationally told RT Sport recently that Mayweather has had talks with the UFC, although the fighter himself has not commented on this.
UFC president White has previously said his preferred next fight for Nurmagomedov would be against fellow lightweight Tony Ferguson, who defeated Anthony Pettis in a comeback win on the same card as Khabib v McGregor at UFC 229.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been slated to fight several times, only for injury or other health issues to scupper the bout.
Dagestani native Nurmagomedov’s UFC future is uncertain as he is facing a lengthy suspension over the post-fight brawl that marred his dominant fourth-round submission win over McGregor.
The pair had their temporary suspensions extended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week, and will learn exactly how long they will be banned for at a hearing in December.
Nurmagomedov has had half of his $2 million purse from the bout paid, but has threatened to quit the promotion if it sacks his friend and fellow fighter Zubaira Tukhugov, who was also involved in the brawl with McGregor's team after their fight at T-Mobile Arena.