Khabib Nurmagomedov is a massive star. Perhaps an even bigger star than many people realize.
“The reality is this: apparently people in the business don’t know this, but Khabib is one of the biggest stars in all of sports,” White said of Nurmagomedov. “Not just the UFC.”
“Khabib’s videos have generated 220 million views. His content that features him; over 100 million video views this year alone—just on Facebook. He’s broken records on Instagram. He’s the by far the No. 1 most-played character in the video game. Globally. By a long shot.”
The most successful UFC event of all-time was UFC 229, topped by a lightweight title fight between Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. It did 2.4 million Pay-Per-View buys. According to White, this event has been trending towards potentially being even bigger. The UFC boss outlined just why he thinks this event has peaked the interest of so many fans around the world.
“This kid has broken a lot of records,” White said. “And what makes this fight so big, is that people believe that this kid (Gaethje) has the style to beat him. So you have all the ingredients for a massive fight. You have a big superstar and you have a kid who’s coming off an incredible win over a highly-respected fighter and many people believe that he has the style to do it.”
Nurmagomedov is currently ranked second in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. White said that a win over Gaethje will put him at the top. The Dagestani has only ever lost one round in his entire career fighting professional MMA. That’s a remarkable statistic. A victory over the man who has secured a performance bonus in each of his seven UFC fights would only enhance his reputation as one of the greatest ever.
There’s already plenty of talk about who might be next for Nurmagomedov after Gaethje. Namely, a fight with Georges St-Pierre. GSP is widely-viewed as the GOAT himself, so a match between the two and a chance for Khabib to go 30-0 would be something special. But first he has to get past Gaethje.
Will Khabib Nurmagomedov extend his incredible winning streak this weekend?