On 7th October, the MMA world came to a standstill as everyone geared up to witness Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor's much-anticipated return to the Octagon, where he was raring to go against Russia's Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event at UFC 229. All eyes were on the UFC's poster boy, who was looking to reclaim his lost glory with the lightweight title triumph against his Russian counterpart.
Returning to the Octagon after a near two-year hiatus, McGregor looked a bit out of sorts in the main event. Khabib largely dominated the proceedings before administering a rear-naked choke, prompting the Irishman to tap out with one minute and 57 seconds of Round 4 remaining. But, that wasn't the end of it.
After asserting his dominance by successfully defending the lightweight title, Khabib was seen shouting at a lifeless McGregor before exiting the ring and attacking Dillon Danis- a fighter who trains with the Irishman. As a result, a melee broke out between the two camps and McGregor was also seen getting punched in the ring by one of Khabib's training partners.
The postfight melee was deemed "sick" by UFC president Dana White, but Khabib isn't bothered. The lightweight champ, fresh from choking out McGregor, followed in the footsteps of his Irish rival as he challenged semi-retired boxing star Floyd Mayweather for a superfight.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Leonard Ellerbe (@leonardellerbe) on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:00pm PDT
Throwing down the gauntlet in an Instagram video alongside boxing promoter Leonard Ellerbe addressing the 'Moneyman', Khabib made bold claims: "50-0 versus 27-0, two guys who have never, never lost. Let's go. Why not? In the jungle, there is only one king. Of course, I am the king. He could not drop McGregor, but I dropped him easily. That's right. Let's go".
If Khabib's challenge had the fans and sponsors at the edge of their feet, Mayweather's eventual response, once again, had the world of mixed martial arts anticipating a potential superfight.View this post on Instagram
CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out! Go to @leonardellerbe 's page to view Khabib Nurmagomedov challenging me. LET'S MAKE LAS VEGAS GREAT AGAIN! #CBS #SHOWTIME #MGMGRAND #MayweatherPromotions
A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:26am PDT
Responding to Khabib, Mayweather accepted the Dagestani's offer and said: "CBS, Showtime and MGM Grand get the checkbook out!
Go to @leonardellerbe's page to view Khabib Nurmagomedov challenging me. LET'S MAKE LAS VEGAS GREAT AGAIN!".
If things go according to plan, the fight against Khabib will be Mayweather's second against a UFC fighter. The American, known as the best boxer of his generation for his unbeaten career record, defeated McGregor by a 10th-round TKO in Las Vegas last year. It was the second-biggest pay-per-view event in history, generating 4.3 million buys.
On the other hand, Mayweather had a $100 million guaranteed purse, while McGregor was guaranteed $30 million for the superfight. A similar deal can be expected if the mega battle between Mayweather and Khabib materialises.
Often labelled as one of the best in the business, Mayweather never lost a bout in his career. And, the fact that he held world titles in five different weight classes, goes on to highlight his dominance in boxing.
If Mayweather boasts of 50-0 unbeaten record, Khabib himself has enjoyed a brilliant run of 27-0 as a professional. He claimed the UFC's lightweight belt at UFC 223 in April after defeating Al Iaquinta by a unanimous decision.
Though it's too early to call, a clash between two unbeaten champions in their respective sports surely makes for a great contest.