UFC lightweight champion and Russian mixed martial arts icon Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed his plans for his newly-acquired promotion, Eagle Fighting Championship, and hopes to partner up with the UFC to achieve his aims.
When it was announced that Khabib was set to meet with UFC president Dana White, the rumor mill went into overdrive with the possibility of the Russian star potentially agreeing a deal to return to the octagon again.
But instead, Khabib had other plans, and used his meeting to talk business with White, and get his new promotion EFC onto the UFC’s global streaming platform, UFC Fight Pass.
“I had this offer to Dana White. I wanted to make a contract with UC Fight Pass to broadcast EFC fights there. Kind of like their contract with M-1 but a bit different,” he said at a Moscow press conference.
“I wanted to discuss the number of title defenses an EFC fighter needs to get into the UFC. When we sign fighters, we would like the organization to follow them into the UFC.
“For example, a guy signs for six fights. If he wins and defends his title a few times we’ll get him a UFC contract. Then, after he signs, we’ll handle his affairs.”
Some promotions have ambitions to become as big as the UFC, but Khabib said his aim was different. Instead, he wants to grow the promotion’s reputation by producing fighters that move on and have success in the UFC itself.
“It’s no secret everyone wants to get into the UFC,” he said.
“Other promotions want their fighters to stay. I don’t want that. I want EFC to be a launchpad into the world stage. We need at least 10 years to be better than UFC, so we don’t have those goals.
“A 23-year-old fighter can have 6-7 fights, win the title and defend it, then sign with the UFC in just two years. That’s a more realistic short-term goal than looking ahead 10-12 years just for a chance to become the best promotion in the world. But we do aim to become one of the best in the world.”