Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has appeared to hint the UFC’s lightweight champion was on course to box Floyd Mayweather next year.
Earlier this week, Mayweather shocked the sporting world by announcing he’s coming out of his third retirement next year.
The former four-weight world champion proceeded that announcement by revealing he’s working alongside UFC president Dana White – who is ramping up operations with Zuffa Boxing – to put on a ‘spectacular’ event in 2020.
And a little over 24 hours after Mayweather’s announcement, Abdelaziz appears to have suggested that spectacular event could’ve seen the hall of famer take on the undefeated Dagestani destroyer in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.
Alongside a mock-up fight poster for Mayweather vs Nurmagomedov, Abdelaziz tweeted: “This was originally planned but the big Dady of combat sport today [Dana White] make [Floyd Mayweather] hide for a lil bit.
“3 of us knew what happened but to be honest I’m glad to see [Dana White] with [Floyd Mayweather] finally got a good promoter to promote his fights.”
Talk of Nurmagomedov facing Mayweather came to fruition shortly after his UFC 229 victory over Conor McGregor, with the Russian publicly declaring his interest in fighting the 42-year-old.
That talk soon dissipated and Nurmagomedov went on to defend his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, which took place in Abu Dhabi in September.
However, a few weeks removed from his submission victory over ‘The Diamond’, Nurmagomedov’s father stoked the flames for a clash with ‘Money’.
“Floyd, I respect your wish to fight Khabib,” Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. “At the moment we have our most crucial moment, when he have to hold the best fight in the history of the UFC.
“Twelve against 12 in a series of victories (in the UFC) and all the fans are waiting for this fight.
“We’ve been preparing for this fight for more than a year. Five months and the fight (with Ferguson) should take place.
“First of all we will need to do some boxing training and we need a camp – with Lomachenko Sr for half a year. Why not!!!”
Nurmagomedov, however, shot down the prospect of locking horns with the multi-millionaire, insisting his next fight should be against former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson.
He said: “I think it would be better for me to fight Tony Ferguson rather than Floyd at this stage of my career. “I’m more focused on MMA.”
Earlier this month, Nurmagomedov revealed negotiations for his long-awaited clash with Ferguson – who he’s been scheduled to face a staggering four times – is in the works for the spring.
The undefeated Dagestan native said: “We’re in talks now. They suggested having it in Vegas in March, but they have to issue me an official apology for fining me for the incident on 6 October, 2018.
“If they apologise, I’ll fight. If not, we’ll pick another venue.
“I’ll fight in April in New York. I’ll be ready in April – March if Vegas apologizes or gives me back my money. Those are my conditions. We’re in talks now.”
Mayweather – who retired with a perfect 50-0 record – hasn’t fought since defeating former UFC lightweight champion McGregor, whom he stopped in the tenth round of his last outing.