Khabib Nurmagomedov’s $30M Surprise From Vladimir Putin After Conor McGregor Victory Left Dana White Stunned

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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s $30M Surprise From Vladimir Putin After Conor McGregor Victory Left Dana White Stunned

Khabib Nurmagomedov walked away with at least 10 times more than the $2 million USD ($3 million AUD) fight purse he was guaranteed for his UFC 229 bout against Conor McGregor.

That’s according to UFC President Dana White who revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin rewarded Khabib and his father with $20 million USD (~ $30.3 million AUD) worth of properties in Russia.

“He (Nurmagomedov) didn’t even make it back to his dressing room after the fight, and Putin was on the phone,” White told the Games with Names podcast. “Putin gave him and his father, like, $20 million worth of property in Russia. Then he went into the Muslim territories where these guys are like, cars, money, gyms, whatever he wanted.”

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Nurmagomedov famously settled his long rivalry with McGregor by submitting the Irishman with a triangle choke in the second round of the UFC 229 main event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas three-and-a-half years ago.

That victory cemented Khabib’s status as the best lightweight in the UFC. It also established Nurmagomedov as a worldwide superstar with UFC 229 becoming the highest-grossing pay-per-view event in the history of the UFC with 2.4 million in PPV buys.

“Once you get to that level [of Nurmagomedov’s fame], it’s like what we’re dealing with with Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor lives in a yacht in the middle of wherever the warmest place in the world is at that time. Once you get to that level, you’re not getting up and getting punched in the face anymore.”

Well, Khabib absorbed 41 more strikes across two bouts against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje in 2019 and 2020, respectively. After two successful title defences, Khabib fulfilled the promise that he made to his mother by announcing his retirement in the Octagon after beating Gaethje.

After his retirement, Khabib focused on training younger fighters and developing champions from his native Dagestan. He put up several gyms and acquired the Russian MMA promotion Gorilla Fighting Championship and renamed it as Eagle Fighting Championship.

Team Khabib has produced numerous champions including current UFC lightweight king Islam Makhachev and the reigning Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov among others.

Meanwhile, the Russian President is allegedly one of the richest persons on the planet. According to a recent report from Fox, Putin has a net worth that would rival Elon Musk. Considering Musk has a net worth of $206 billion (~$313 billion AUD) as per the latest Forbes valuation, then rewarding a Russian citizen $20 million for a job well done is peanuts.