“It was not easy decision,” Khabib Nurmagomedov comes clean about the $40 MILLION he was offered to come out of retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov's legacy: a fighter's honor, retirement decision, and coaching journey in the ufc octagon.


“It was not easy decision,” Khabib Nurmagomedov comes clean about the $40 MILLION he was offered to come out of retirement

Khabib Nurmagomedov (Image via: IMAGO)

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most honorable fighters ever to graze the octagon. Retiring undefeated, there were attempts from the UFC to bring him back. However, Nurmagomedov stayed true to his promise to his mother of not competing without his father. His father passed away in 2020 due to Covid-19 related illness.

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Recently, Nurmagomedov, in an interview, revealed the UFC’s Ultimate 30 All-Time Roster with a friend and former two-division champion, Daniel Cormier clarified his decision to stay retired. This is what Nurmagomedov said to Cormier about his decision.

It's very hard to say no to all these things, It's very hard. It's not easy, It's not easy to say no to 20, 30, 40 Million Dollars. But for myself, it's not everything. This is not the most important. It was not easy decision. But if I decide, its decided, its finished.
Khabib Nurmagomedov via UFC.

Apparently, Dana White and the UFC persuaded Nurmagomedov to come back and fight by offering a multi-million dollar deal. Nevertheless, the UFC moved on after realizing Nurmagomedov’s fortitude and very quickly put him in the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2022. “The Eagle” had a very dominant run in the UFC, where he accumulated a 13-0 record, 11 in the lightweight division. Throughout his UFC tenure, he lost only two rounds to his opponents.

Nurmagomedov, after retirement, is still active as a coach for his fellow teammates. He notably trained his friend and fellow lightweight, Islam Makhachev, to a lightweight championship. Notably, he was in the corner of many athletes, including Belal Muhammad, and also had an undefeated streak in cornering. However, citing familial obligations, Nurmagomedov withdrew from cornering his athletes, even though he is an integral part of their training camp.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s earnings from the UFC

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the highly paid athletes in the UFC. In his 13 fights in the UFC, he has earned close to $25 million. His financial journey reflected his ascent in the fighting ranks. With each victory, there was a marked increase in his fight purse.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov (image credit – IMAGO)

His first high-profile fight was in a 2014 win against Rafael dos Anjos, earning him $64,000. His victory over Darrell Horcher in 2016 netted him $135,000. The Eagle fought again in a 2016 win against Michael Johnson at UFC 205, adding $170,000 to his earnings. In 2017, Nurmagomedov’s victory over Edson Barboza at UFC 219 brought him $230,000. In 2018, he earned $530,000 from defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant lightweight title. His fight against Conor McGregor in 2018 saw him earning $2,040,000, but a $500,000 penalty reduced his take-home to $1,540,000.

Khabib maintained his financial dominance in subsequent title defenses in 2019 and 2020. His 2019 win over Dustin Poirier added more than $6 Million to his account. His 2020 victory against Justin Gaethje reportedly earned him close to $10 Million. He was offered double, triple, and quadruple the amount soon after for his next fight, but he refused and stood retired.

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