Khabib Nurmagomedov turned down a pay day of more than $100million (£70m) to fight Floyd Mayweather.
The undefeated former UFC lightweight champion decided to hang up his gloves at the request of his mother following the passing of his father Abdulmanap earlier last year.
And he has been steadfast in that retirement, turning down multiple offers from UFC president Dana White after a series of meetings earlier this year in the Middle East and Las Vegas.
White ultimately had to admit the Dagestani fighter had retired with a record of 29-0 after beating Justin Gaethje to defend his title last October.
And according to Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, there was one mega-money offer made for the fighter to come back which may have turned his head.
Speaking on the Hot Boxin’ podcast with Mike Tyson, Abdelaziz said that a nine-figure sum was offered to Nurmagomedov to fight boxing legend Mayweather, who is now preparing to face Logan Paul in an exhibition.
“Khabib got offered $100 million after he was retired to fight Floyd Mayweather,” Abdelaziz told the legendary former heavyweight champion.
“$100 million… $100 million, and you can ask Floyd, you can ask everybody.
“Khabib said, ‘No, I’m retired. I told my mother I’m retired. I’m going to keep my word to my mother. If my mother told me to fight again, maybe I would, but right now, she told me not to fight’.”
Nurmagomedov has long eschewed fame and fortune despite making deep into the eight figures for his 2018 lightweight title bout with Conor McGregor.
He also made two subsequent big-money title defences against Dustin Poirier and Gaethje in the Middle East, before deciding to leave the sport while on top.
A mega-fight with Mayweather has long been mooted with the ring legend’s manager Leonard Ellerbe floating the idea after the success of the boxing legend’s fight with McGregor which became the second-highest selling fight of all time.
But at the time, Nurmagomedov was committed to MMA, and had contractual obligations from which White wouldn’t release him.
Mayweather has instead set his sights on YouTube star Paul, who he will face in an exhibition bout at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on June 6.
Paul is 0-1 as a pro boxer, having lost his debut to rapper JJ ‘KSI’ Olatunji in 2019, while the boxing star retired after his fight with McGregor in 2017 which he won to go 50-0.
Mayweather has defeated champions such as Oscar De La Hoya, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao in his storied career, and is expected to make light work of Paul despite the sizable gap in reach and weight.
Paul, however, appears fully confident in his ability to beat Mayweather in what would be one of the greatest upsets in sporting history.