Putin’s Lavish Rewards to Khabib: Beyond the McGregor Victory

"Putin's Lavish Gifts Right After The Fight"

After his monumental win against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t just secure a victory in the octagon but also won over Vladimir Putin’s admiration. UFC President Dana White revealed the extent of Putin’s generosity on the “Games with Names” podcast. Before even reaching the locker room, Khabib received a call from Putin, offering him and his father real estate in Russia valued at $20 million, alongside cars, money, gyms, and whatever else they desired in their Muslim community areas.

This array of gifts also included a luxury Mercedes from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, known as Putin’s loyalist. Such lavish rewards from Putin and Kadyrov might have contributed to the winding down of Khabib’s fighting spirit, according to White, who compared his situation to that of Conor McGregor’s luxury lifestyle deterring his competitive edge.


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However, the pivotal reason behind Khabib’s retirement was the loss of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, during the pandemic. His mother’s wish not to see him fight again led Khabib to promise that his next fight would be his last. Despite his undefeated record, Dana White hesitates to name Khabib as the greatest MMA fighter of all time, favoring Jon Jones for his continued undefeated streak and wishing to have seen more from Khabib.


Dana White on Putin’s immediate call and gifts: “He hadn’t even made it back to the locker room after the fight before Putin was on the phone. He and his father got, like, real estate worth 20 million dollars in Russia. Then he went to the Muslim areas where these guys are and gave them cars, money, gyms, whatever he wanted.”

White on the impact of success: “When you reach the level of (Khabib Nurmagomedov), it’s like the problem we have with Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor lives on a yacht wherever the warmest place on the planet is at the moment. Once you reach that level, you’re not going to get up to get punched in the face anymore.”

White on Khabib’s retirement and the greatest fighter debate: “Jon Jones is the greatest of all time. Jon Jones is undefeated. Khabib is also undefeated, but I would have liked to see Khabib do more.”

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