October 11, 2018

Khabib Nurmagomedov is Ready to Leave UFC if Dana White Fires Zubaira Tukhugov

Today, the UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov made an ultimatum post on Instagram saying that he is going to leave UFC if his teammate and one of the best friends, Zubaira Tukhugov, will be fired from the organization for being involved in the brawl after Khabib vs McGregor bout.


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I would like to address @ufc Why didn’t you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple of people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family? Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, @zubairatukhugov has nothing to do with that. If you think that I’ll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira’s fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don’t forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video. if you decide to fire him, you should know that you’ll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don’t forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I’ll break it myself. And one more thing, you can keep my money that you are withholding. You are pretty busy with that, I hope it won’t get stuck in your throat. We have defended our honor and this is the most important thing. We intend to go to the end. #Brothers

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

A little bit earlier, UFC confirmed that they already canceled Tukhugov’s fight against McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov which was scheduled to take place on October 27 at Fight Night 138. Right after the incident at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Dana White said that there will be an action taken against everyone who jumped inside the octagon and attacked Conor McGregor. Besides Zubaira Tukhugov, two other guys from Khabib’s corner were involved in the chaos: his cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov and wrestling coach Esedulla Emiragaev.

Khabib’s opinion on this is pretty clear: if UFC is going to break Zubaira Tukhugov’s contract, then he is going to break his as well and he won’t fight under UFC organization.

It’s a bold statement from Khabib Nurmagomedov and it’s very interesting what will Dana White do in response. UFC’s reputation is on the line and it’ll be affected either way. Khabib doesn’t seem to be messing around and it sounds like he is absolutely serious and it’s not some sort of bluffing games – it’s an ultimatum to UFC/Dana White.

Here are a few options of what could happen next:

  • UFC will back off and not fire Zubaira Tukhugov/anyone involved in the incident. They’ll make some sort of deal (a bunch of fines) or adjust Tukhugov’s contract that if something like this happens again he’ll be out of the organization. It seems like a possible scenario but there is a problem for Dana White as he’ll look weak and manipulated by one of his employees (after all, Dana is the boss and Khabib is just one of his best employees).
  • Dana White won’t accept Khabib’s terms and as he stated earlier, they’ll cancel Tukhugov’s contract. It’s a risky move for the organization as they could potentially lose one of their superstars. Once again, I don’t think Khabib cares so much about the money and he is not bluffing. In this case, a lot will depend on Nurmagomedov’s contract with the UFC and if there is a way to break it and still fight for another organization. Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz must know what his client is doing and they must have some sort of back up plan. He might switch to a different organization like Bellator or who knows, maybe Ali has a plan to create something of his own. If Khabib will leave UFC and, for example, join Bellator, it will be huge. Can you imagine, if he faced Dillon Danis there? 🔥
  • The third option is if Khabib backs up and he will still stay in the organization even if Dana fires Tukhugov. It’s possible but honestly, I don’t see this happening. Nurmagomedov is a guy who stands behind his words and he said that he is “intend to go to the end”. There is no reason to not believe his words.

P.S. Sh*t is getting real. Daniel Cormier and Zabit Magomedsharipov on Instagram supported Zubaira Tukhugov and Khabib on this one. Still no official statement from Dana White.

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