Khabib's Russian manager Rizvan Magomedov gave a huge interview to the biggest Russian sports newspaper Sport-Express. This interview covers a lot of stuff and is HUGE. Rizvan also manages Zabit's affairs, so the first part of the interview is about Zabit, the second part is about Khabib, the third part is about the rest of the Eagles MMA team who Rizvan also manages. Many people might ask "I thought it was Abdelaziz who is Khabib's his manager". That's true, but Abdelaziz only handles his affairs in the US, but Rizvan handles his business in Russia. Rizvan has a collaboration with Abdelaziz and is responsible for Russia and CIS countries, Abdelaziz also has a collaboration with at Brazilian manager who takes care of his Brazilian fighters. Now, about the interview, it's HUGE. I know you people don't like to read too much so I will mostly summarise the answers instead of translating everything word for word. About Zabit's last fight and his title ambitions Zabit dominated for 2 first rounds and had a worse 3rd round. He received a lot of critique due to 3rd round. Zabit had a staph infection in Thailand and that's why the fight was moved from US to Russian card. It was not Zabit who decided to make the fight a 3 round fight. The management and coaches didn't give him that decision and decided for him when they spoke with UFC. Because they saw he hadn't fully recovered after the infection. They'll see how Max vs Volkanovski fight goes. If they can get a title shot next, they'll take it. If not they want Yair Rodriguez, who is the most likely candidate for next fight. Ortega and Korean zombie are also good candidates. No matter who the opponent is, next fight MUST BE a 5 round fight, to prove everyone he's ready. About fighter's salaries The information about Zabit making 60 000 USD for his last fight is false, he made much more. UFC never publish salaries. The numbers on internet are false and he has no clue where they come from. Sometimes the numbers that are published on some websites are 4-5 times less than fighters actually made. He has never seen the correct numbers published. Khabib's salary and UFC 242 PPV The number of 6 000 000 USD that Khabib made from Poirier fight (Khabib's father said that number in one interview) is too small and doesn't account for PPV %. Khabib made more than 6 million from Poirier fight. Khabib made a lot more for Poirier fight than McGregor fight. "Khabib today is a lot bigger name than he was during the McGregor fight. We don't need McGregor or anyone else anymore. We also don't have to do any strange deed to attract attention to ourselves. Khabib is a name of world proportions and his salary reflects that." UFC 242 sold around 1 million PPVs. That's big considering the time difference with US that is the biggest market for PPVs. UFC PPV buys has dropped big overall after ESPN + deal. The first PPV that was on ESPN + made less than 300k buys. ESPN + effected PPVS in a negative way because fans have ot jump through a lot more hoops than before to buy a PPV. Khabib's next fight They are working on making Khabib vs Ferguson in Russian in March or April. Negotiations are soon over, Rizvan thinks it's 50/50 chance that they'll make Ferguson fight in Russia. Problems with making it in Russia is that you need to find (rich) sponsors that would compensate UFC for their risks (less PPV buys etc.). Gazprom arena is St. Petersburg (70 000 people) is the most likely arena and they are sure they can fill it. Ferguson is the most likely opponent, there are no other deserving candidates. GSP can't agree with UFC for some reason. That leaves Ferguson as the only viable option at the moment. But Rizvan says they can't say it's 100% until all the paperwork is signed. They want GSP after Ferguson fight if UFC and GSP can agree on terms. About McGregor rematch Rematch with McGregor is not interesting right now. Khabib and his team has already voiced their terms to McGregor. He has to win fights and prove that he is a legit contender again through accumulating a respectable win streak over top opponents to get a new title shot. If he can do that Khabib will give him a rematch. There is 0% chance that McGregor will get a rematch through trash talk alone. About McGregor press conference He doesn't see a problem with Conor trash talking his opponent, but when he talks trash about the whole Republic of Dagestan and all the Dagestanis, he's going over the line. He also think it's unfortunate that people who were on his press conference were okay with that. It shows that there are problems with nationalism and nazism in Russian society. Regarding the Russian flag (Conor accused Khabib of not representing Russia since he doesn't carry a Russian flag): "Yes, we have discussed this issue. Flag is a national symbol, one of many national symbols. Wherever we go, we are all Russian fighters. We represent this country, first and foremost. After that we represent our region, city, village and so on. But first and foremost we are all fighters from Russia. The flag, is only one symbol of the country. The main thing, as Khabib already said, is that you represent that country with dignity. McGregor is carrying an Irish flag and how does he behave? What impression do you have about Ireland based on his behaviour? A guy who insults people, who drinks, who punches old men. Does he spread a positive image of his country by doing that?" Khabib also doesn't carry a Dagestan flag and there is no question about that Khabib loves Dagestan. Islam Makhachev career It's very hard to find a fight for Islam. The guys in top-10 are afraid of loosing their spot and only fight each other. There are a lot of people outside of top-10 who are better than the "top-10" guys, but never get an opportunity. Kevin Lee has been talking a lot, but he often changes his mind. Rizvan thinks that Kevin Lee challenging Islam on social media is just a PR thing. Lee doesn't want to fight Islam. Not only Kevin Lee, but also Dan Hooker and Paul Felder are ducking Islam. UFC doesn't want Islam in top-10 since he'll never fight Khabib. Islam next fight should be in January. At the same time as McGregor. Rizvan says that UFC will probably not allow such security risk and will probably have them in different events. Abubakar Nurmagomedov Sad that he failed his debut. Everyone was disappointed that he made such a childish mistake after a promising start to the fight. But there's nothing to do about that, you can't turn back time. He'll have to prepare better for his next fight. Rizvan doesn't think that Abubakar is in UFC only because of his last name. His last name mattered, but he is a good fighter and he is of UFC caliber. Rustam Khabilov Rustam Khabilov just had his last fight on his contract. Right now they are negotiating a new deal for him. Rustam has a hard time in his career, since he is having issues getting a US visa for the last 5 years and can only fight on cards outside of US. They don't know why his visa all of a sudden got cancelled. He never had issues with the law and has only been focusing on sports.