Sunday, August 14, 2022

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s MMA Promotion Made BIG News Today

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Former UFC lightweight champion and superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov has been making waves recently in his retired life. Since stepping away from the cage in 2020, Nurmagomedov has shifted his business focuses towards his own MMA promotion now, Eagle FC. The promotion has been based primarily in Nurmagomedov’s home country of Russia, but it was recently announced that the promotion will be making it’s US debut in the first quarter of 2022.



Now, the promotion is in the headlines again for their latest round of big news. On Wednesday, it was announced that former UFC interim lightweight championship challenger Kevin Lee will be signing with Eagle FC. Lee was recently cut by the UFC, which came as somewhat of a surprise for most fans. Lee initially said that he was very mad about the cut, but also stated that this meant that he “would be a millionaire within a year” insinuating that he will be making much more fighting outside of the UFC than when he was fighting for the UFC.

Many fans assumed that he would likely be fighting for Bellator or the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL), or possibly fighting in some capacity with Triller, who has been throwing boatloads of money at anybody and everybody lately. However, shortly after Lee was cut, Bellator president Scott Coker commented that they weren’t interested in Lee at the time.

The History Between Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov

Many people speculated that Eagle FC would be off the table for Lee given the history between Lee and Nurmagomedov. For years before Nurmagomedov was the lightweight champion, he was the guy that nobody in the division wanted to fight. Lee was always the one who wasn’t scared of him and instead was constantly calling him out. After Khabib left, his protégé Islam Makhachev was the next boogeyman of the division (and currently still is). In a similar fashion, Lee went against the grain and instead was constantly calling Makhachev out. Although neither of those fights ended up happening, people speculated that because of this a relationship between Lee and Nurmagomedov would be off the table.

Well it turns out that there’s not too much bad blood remaining for a partnership to happen as the news came out that Lee would be signing with Eagle FC.

Ariel Helwani announced the news initially and then followed up by saying that while Lee’s opponent is not currently known, he is aiming to make his Eagle FC debut on March 11.

Eagle FC Is Shaking Up MMA

Signing Lee wasn’t Eagle FC’s only big news of the day. Along with announcing that they would be signing Lee, Nurmagomedov also announced that his promotion would be introducing a 165 and 175 pound division, something that MMA fans, and fighters, have been asking for for years now. In fact, Lee has been the main fighter that people have pointed to when asking for a 165 pound division as Lee has long struggled to find his footing at 155 pound lightweight or 170 pound welterweight. Fans have long pointed to Lee as someone who is an in-betweener, so now Lee will have a chance to see if 165 is his true division.

Nurmagomedov spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto today to break the news about Lee and the new divisions.

Here’s a rundown of the weight classes the Eagle FC will feature, as of now:

On another interesting note, Lee will apparently be paid in Bitcoin by Eagle FC.

Lee joined Helwani on The MMA Hour after the news broke to speak about the news. You can view their full interview here:

Eagle FC is slated to make their US debut on January 28 in Miami, FL.

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