Michael Bisping: Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘Would Go the Distance’ with Floyd Mayweather in Boxing
As crazy as it sounds that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is suddenly engaged in a back and forth with Floyd Mayweather over a potential boxing match shouldn’t really surprise anybody given what happened last year.
The same skepticism haunted early reports about Mayweather fighting then UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor but somehow a deal came together and they faced off in the second biggest pay-per-view card in history.
Now with Nurmagomedov handing McGregor a lopsided defeat at UFC 229, he’s turned his attention towards Mayweather, who is more than happy to respond and tease that he’s interested in the fight.
While it seems highly unlikely that the fight ever materializes, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes Nurmagomedov might actually have a good showing for himself if he ever stepped into the ring with Mayweather.
Now Bisping didn’t predict that Nurmagomedov would win but rather he would survive a full fight with Mayweather even if they were wearing boxing gloves.
“I swear to god, Khabib would go the distance with Mayweather,” Bisping said on his ‘Believe You Me’ podcast. “He’d go the distance with Mayweather. I’m not saying Khabib is a better boxer than McGregor, he’s not a better striker, he’s not as elusive, he’s not as slick but he’s got a f–king chin and he’s got cardio for days. And Mayweather at his age, he was never a knockout guy even though he did have some knockouts. He knocked out England’s very own Ricky Hatton in devastating fashion but I don’t see it.
“He couldn’t put McGregor down and that’s what Khabib’s saying — you couldn’t put McGregor down, I put McGregor down — but [Mayweather] put McGregor down through fatigue and that was his game plan. McGregor was very, very tired and he started eating shots and in the end he couldn’t even fight back because he was so exhausted and kind of beat up so the referee stepped in. That wouldn’t happen against Khabib and Mayweather would probably embarrass him and light him up and pick him apart all night long but Khabib would probably go 12 rounds. Conor wasn’t far away from going 12 rounds.”
What Bisping said about Mayweather is partially true, especially in the latter parts of his career where he was known as a defensive marvel but rarely had the kind of offensive flurry that led to finishes.
Still, Mayweather would be an overwhelming favorite to slice and dice Nurmagomedov in a boxing match the same way the Russian would likely maul the undefeated pugilist if he ever dared step foot into the UFC Octagon.
As much as this might seem like a publicity stunt by the fighters, after Mayweather parlayed his online rivalry with McGregor into a $300 million payday, you can never say never again.