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23 Jan, 2022 09:45

MMA maverick Paul strikes ‘deal’ in Russian with UFC icon Khabib

Jake Paul has responded after Khabib Nurmagomedov made him an offer
MMA maverick Paul strikes ‘deal’ in Russian with UFC icon Khabib

Brash boxing novice Jake Paul has used Russian to respond to Khabib Nurmagomedov after the former UFC champion sent him a message about his new MMA promotion.

Ex-lightweight king Nurmagomedov has launched his Eagle Fighting Championship (EFC) in Paul's native US, expanding the promotion into headquarters in Miami ahead of what the Dagestani hopes will be a packed year of fights.

Shrewd businessman Nurmagomedov is clearly aware of the huge audience Paul can bring, amassing more than 20 million YouTube subscribers and more than 18 million Instagram followers.

"The doors of [EFC] are always open for you and your team," Nurmagomedov told Paul, addressing the fighter responsible for defeating two former UFC fighters who were well past their best.

Loudmouth pugilist Paul has beaten Tyron Woodley twice and Ben Askren amid his first five professional victims, and he has also been outspoken about his ambition to move into MMA promotion.

The 25-year-old has repeatedly taunted Dana White over fighter pay and suggested that he would be able to dramatically change the business landscape of the sport.

A meeting with Nurmagomedov would not merely be a chance to go through the motions in sparring and share business ideas, according to Paul's customary bluster.

Writing in Russian and English, Paul replied to Nurmagomedov's invitation by saying: "Deal. Only if I fight you first."

This is not the first time in recent months that the headline-loving Paul has claimed that he wants to fight one of the most feared names ever to step into the octagon.

In December 2021, the colorful celebrity said a potential bout with unbeaten Nurmagomedov would be "crazy" but "fun".

Nurmagomedov's coach, Javier Mendez, has said that Paul would not be allowed to join his team unless he was given the seal of approval by all of his fighters and coaches.

"I loved the plug he gave us," Mendez told The Schmo. "I think it was a fantastic plug and I think he’s a fantastic person and I think he markets himself fantastically. I love what he does."

Fans familiar with major-name mismatches will see parallels with the farcical boxing match Paul's equally famous brother, Logan, had with all-time great Floyd Mayweather in June 2021, when the bout went the distance without a result.

Jake Paul also blasted out former NBA player Nate Robinson, a boxing debutant whose savage knockout defeat raised questions around the safety of events involving competitors with minimal professional experience of fighters.