Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has issued an extraordinary message to the WWE in what can only be interpreted as a plea to invite his client onto the show. The retired UFC star who holds a record of 29-0 is the latest UFC fighter to indicate his willingness to swap the Octagon for the ring.
With the growing amount of transitioning between combat sports that has been going on over the last 12 months, we shouldn’t be surprised at this latest development. Indeed, it seems as if the ongoing exhibition matches generate the most revenue and you only need to look at the red carpet that has been laid down to YouTubers to get a sense of how much the organizers put profit before entertainment.
After all, pay-per-view sales in the upcoming Jake Paul and Ben Askren bout are predicted to break existing records. Part of that is due to the fact that the latest Jake Paul vs Ben Askren odds indicate that the YouTuber will win having been priced at -188 to beat 36-year-old Askren. Perhaps people are more intrigued than anything else, which explains the vast sales that these fights bring in, and you can forgive them for that. However, the world of professional fighting does seem to be descending into chaos and is fast becoming somewhat of a circus.
Khabib’s latest flirtation with the WWE won’t do anything to dispel that notion. The Russian’s manager, Abdelaziz, didn’t mince his words when speaking to TMZ and said “let’s be real, if any of these soft steroid freaks wanted to go ahead and have a wrestling match with Khabib and they wanna get beat up for real, they know who they need to call.”
Just in case the 43-year-old promoter thought he had been too vague, he finished off by saying that “he’ll go there and he’ll smash John Cena’s face. No problem.”
— John Cena (@JohnCena) September 10, 2020
There’s a lot to unpack here, but at the top of the list is whether Cena is still even active in the WWE given that his last fight was at Wrestlemania 36 when he lost to Bray Wyatt.
Indeed, the general impression was that Cena had become a full-time actor having swapped the WWE for Hollywood. As for Khabib, his retirement from the UFC after beating Justin Gaethje in 2020 was meant to be permanent when you consider the very personal promise he made to his mother that he wouldn’t step back into the Octagon. Furthermore, it was only in March 2021 that Dana White insisted that the 32-year-old was ‘100 percent officially retired.’
29-0 it is.
— danawhite (@danawhite) March 19, 2021
This is obviously at total odds to what his manager Abdelaziz has now seemingly initiated with World Wrestling Entertainment and given how lucrative the job of managing Khabib is, it would be foolish for Abdelaziz to break his client’s trust by going rogue. In other words, Khabib would have known exactly what his manager was going to say to TMZ. So what happens next?
Well, a man as financially driven as Vince McMahon isn’t going to let this opportunity slip him by. You can be certain that an offer of some sort has already reached Abdelaziz’s inbox. It surely won’t be long before we see Khabib bursting onto the WWE scene.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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