Khabib Nurmagomedov Hopes to Have New Promotion Work With UFC
Recently Khabib Nurmagomedov announced he's getting into the MMA promotion business, and he hopes to work closely with the UFC.
Recently there’s been extensive speculation about what Khabib Nurmagomedov was planning to discuss with Dana White in a meeting. But, it looks like, at least from what the star’s disclosed, it was all about Khabib’s new MMA promotion rather than him returning to the cage.
Khabib wants his promotion to work closely with the UFC
A few days ago, the lightweight champ held a press conference in Russia to announced that he’s acquired the Dagestani MMA promotion, Gorilla Fighting Championship. Due to this move, the promotion will be fittingly called the Eagle Fighting Championship moving forward.
During the press conference, Khabib reported the following (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“I had this offer to Dana White. I wanted to make a contract with UC Fight Pass to broadcast EFC fights there,” he told reporters. “Kind of like their contract with M-1, but a bit different.”
“I wanted to discuss the number of title defenses an EFC fighter needs to get into the UFC,” Nurmagomedov continued.
“When we sign fighters, we would like the organization to follow them into the UFC. For example, a guy signs for six fights.
If he wins and defends his title a few times we’ll get him a UFC contract. Then, after he signs, we’ll handle his affairs.”
In addition, Khabib also had this to say about his plans for the EFC.
“It’s no secret everyone wants to get into the UFC,” he said. “Other promotions want their fighters to stay. I don’t want that.
I want EFC to be a launchpad into the world stage. We need at least 10 years to be better than UFC, so we don’t have those goals.
A 23-year-old fighter can have six to seven fights, win the title and defend it, then sign with the UFC in just two years.
That’s a more realistic short-term goal than looking ahead 10-12 years just for a chance to become the best promotion in the world.
But we do aim to become one of the best in the world.”
Will EFC partner with the UFC?
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So, one would think the UFC will be on board with Khabib’s plan here.
Khabib’s association with the EFC would undoubtedly bring more traffic to UFC Fight Pass. Further, this could be a fantastic way for the UFC to bring in more top-tier prospects from the talent-rich region.
It will be interesting to see how involved Khabib is with the promotion, in terms of day-to-day operations and promoting the fights. Will we see him, for example, doing post-fight interviews similar to White?