- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
MIAMI – Khabib Nurmagomedov learned that fight promotion isn’t so easy on Friday when he brought Eagle FC to U.S. soil for the first time.
Nurmagomedov, a former UFC lightweight champion, has transitioned into a different side of the fight game since his retirement from competition in late 2020. He’s a co-owner in the Russian-based organization, which is now trying to expand into different regions.
Eagle FC 44, which saw notables Sergei Kharitonov, Rashad Evans and Ray Borg pick up notable wins atop the card, which took place at FLXcast Arena. The event largely went off without a hitch, but before it happen Nurmagomedov felt the magnitude of the moment.
“Today when I wake up I was nervous like I’m going to fight tonight,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Junkie and other reporters post-fight at Eagle FC 44. “I have same feeling today when I wake up. I realized I’m not going to fight, I have a fighting show. It was a very nervous day, but right now I’m happy.”
Eagle FC 44 results: Sergei Kharitonov overwhelms Tyrone Spong on mat for TKO
Eagle FC 44 results: UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans returns, secures first win since Nov. 2013
Eagle FC 44 results: Ray Borg overcomes slow start to dominate Cody Gibson
In December, UFC president Dana White was asked about Nurmagomedov’s decision to dip his toe into fight promotion. White said he would “learn the hard way” that it’s much more difficult than it looks.
Nurmagomedov made some bold statements prior to Eagle FC 44 about how the organization is looking to make a footprint in the MMA sphere and treat athletes as best as possible. That remains the goal, but Nurmagomedov admits it’s easier said than done.
Ultimately, Nurmagomedov doesn’t seem intent on making an enemy of White, but rather an ally. In fact, Nurmagomedov said he intends to meet with the UFC boss in the coming weeks for advice on how Eagle FC can become better.
“Nothing (about promoting is) easy, honestly,” Nurmagomedov said. “He’s right, Dana White. I’m going to have meeting next month in Vegas with him. I’m going to talk with him a lot about all this kind of stuff. I’m just beginning. How many years he have experience? He’s the best in the game and it’s a big honor for me to learn from him.”