UFC boss reveals Putin gifts to Russian star Khabib — RT World News

UFC president Dana White says the Russian leader received congratulations from Khabib Nurmagomedov moments after his decisive title win.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of Russia's best combat athletes in history, received a phone call – and some lavish gifts – from his country's president Vladimir Putin in the moments following his win over arch-rival Conor McGregor, UFC president Dana White has revealed.

The UFC 229 mixed martial arts fight in Las Vegas in October 2018 pitted the Dagestani fighter – arguably the most dominant champion of all time in the sport – against the biggest star ever seen in the octagon, Irishman Conor McGregor.

It would be Nurmagomedov who claimed victory, forcing McGregor to concede defeat in the fourth round in what was the most-watched fight in the history of the sport after a heated and tense buildup.

But according to Dana White, Nurmagomedov earned much more that night than just a measure of revenge. “He didn’t even return to the locker room after the fight, and Putin was on the phone.” The UFC president told the “Games with Names” podcast on Tuesday.

“Putin gave him and his father $20 million worth of property in Russia.” White continued. “Then he went to Islamic lands where these guys were, like cars, money, gyms, everything he wanted.”

Khabib's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, died in July 2020 after suffering complications from Covid-19. Khabib would only fight one more time after his father's death before retiring with an unbeaten record of 29-0.

The post-fight bonus the Russian leader issued to Nurmagomedov after his win over McGregor would have gone a long way toward surpassing the $500,000 fine Khabib received from the sport's authorities for his role in the post-fight brawl. In that incident, several of Nurmagomedov's teammates entered the cage to attack McGregor, while Khabib attempted to confront McGregor's training partner, Dillon Danis, outside the octagon.

Now, more than three years away from the UFC at the peak of its powers, White said on the podcast that Nurmagomedov has so far resisted the Las Vegas-based fighting organization's efforts to return.

“Once you get to that level [of Nurmagomedov’s fame]It's like what we're dealing with with Conor McGregor. White explained on the podcast. “Conor McGregor lives on a yacht in the middle of the warmest place in the world at the time. Once you get to that level, you can't get up and get punched in the face anymore.”

After his retirement, Nurmagomedov briefly worked as a coach and corner for several Russian fighters, including current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. However, in January 2023, he permanently retired from all aspects of the sport, saying that he intended to focus on his family.

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