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06th Mar 2017

Khabib Nurmagomedov missed out on an absolutely staggering payday and more at UFC 209

Biggest payday of his career

Ben Kiely

The disclosed purses for UFC 209 are out, and as you may have guessed, Khabib Nurmagomedov missed out on a massive wad of cash.

The undefeated Dagestani was the favourite heading into his interim lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson in the co-main event, but the bout was cancelled after he failed to weigh in.

Nurmagomedov was hospitalised the day of the weigh-ins to receive treatment for weight management medical issues. Once the deadline passed, the UFC announced that Nurmagomedov would not be competing on the card.

There was a scramble to find a replacement to take on Ferguson, but that didn’t materialise after ‘El Cucuy’ revealed he would have been forced to take a pay cut and there would be no belt up for grabs.

As ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports, Ferguson’s disclosed purse was $250,000, which would have been doubled if he had won. After he weighed in successfully under the limit, Ferguson was given his show money. Nurmagomedov missed out on a $500,000 payday which he would have banked just for showing. There was no disclosed win bonus for ‘The Eagle’.

It wasn’t just money that Nurmagomedov lost either. As Chael Sonnen told ESPN, he believes the fight falling through also cost him a chance to receive the next Red Panty Night. UFC 209 would have been the biggest payday of his career, but a huge unification bout against MCGregor would have likely dwarfed it.

“This caused Khabib Nurmagomedov long term effects. I’ll tell you the politics here. Dana White comes back from Russia, announces that he has a new TV deal. 48 hours later, he announces that the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will be taking on Conor McGregor.”

“You don’t need to put on your Colombo rain jacket to realize, Conor McGregor vs the favorite, Khabib Nurmagomedov was going to happen on the debut of the Russian TV deal. It is likely gone!”

Interestingly, Sonnen believes that Ferguson won’t be rewarded with a title shot for showing up and doing his job without any issues. Instead, he feels that the UFC will call up a certain Stockton native to settle a score and finish off a trilogy.

“And I believe it goes to Nate Diaz.”