Dana White Speaks On Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Association With Vladimir Putin

UFC 229 was a big night for former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but it seems the public only knew a portion of the success that the Dagestan born competitor received that evening.

The event took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and concluded in a chaotic brawl in the moments that followed Nurmagomedov’s submission of former two division champion Conor McGregor.

In a recent episode of the “Games with Names” podcast, UFC CEO Dana White revealed that once “The Eagle” made it away from the chaos and backstage, he had a phone call waiting for him from Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“He didn’t even make it back to his dressing room after the fight, and Putin was on the phone,” White recounted of the UFC 229 saga on the “Games with Names” podcast. “Putin gave him and his father, like, $20 million worth of property in Russia. Then he went into the Muslim territories where these guys are like, cars, money, gyms, whatever he wanted.”

While some of the gifts from the Russian president were common knowledge, the property in Russia is new information.

White went on to explain that his unwillingness to come back is not a surprise. Khabib retired following his 2020 win over Justin Gaethje as a promise to his Mother that he would not continue to compete without the presence of his late Father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. But, even if that promise was not made, it is hard to motivate a man with all the money in the world to compete in such a ruthless sport.

“Once you get to that level [of Nurmagomedov’s fame], it’s like what we’re dealing with with Conor McGregor,” White said. “Conor McGregor lives in a yacht in the middle of wherever the warmest place in the world is at that time. Once you get to that level, you’re not getting up and getting punched in the face any more.”



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