UFC president Dana White has warned former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov that running an MMA promotion is by no means easy.
Nurmagomedov purchased Russian MMA promotion Gorilla Fighting Championship for $1 million last year and rebranded it to Eagle Fighting Championship (Eagle FC)
The Russian officially retired from MMA with a flawless record of 29-0 this year, despite White’s best efforts to lure him into a second fight with Conor McGregor.
As the promotion’s founder, Nurmagomedov has turned his focus to organising events for Eagle FC but is also coaching UFC fighters such as Islam Makhachev.
Eagle FC 44 next month marks the promotion’s first event on American soil and the card will feature former UFC champions such as Rashad Evans and Renan Barao.
And White slammed his rival Oscar De La Hoya for telling Nurmagomedov running his own promotion will be “easy”.
“Khabib just started his own promotion and I said, ‘Listen, Khabib has no idea but he’s gonna know. You’re going to learn what it’s like to be a promoter,'” White told ‘THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas’.
“Then [Oscar] De La Hoya comes out and says, ‘Khabib, it’s easy.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s easy, you don’t f***ing do anything.’
“You lost every fight that you ever f****** had and you literally do nothing. Of course, it’s easy, you don’t do anything.”
White and De La Hoya’s feud dates back to when the former boxing world champion urged fans not to buy Floyd Mayweather’s bout against McGregor in 2017.
The two’s hatred for each other is so intense that White didn’t allow former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre to compete against De La Hoya in a boxing match.
Nurmagomedov’s promotion will feature the addition of a 165-pound weight class, something that has been called for in the UFC but president Dana White stated they “didn’t need” in 2019.
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The promotion will not feature any women’s weight classes after Nurmagomedov stated there are only “five or six” good female fighters in the world.
And Nurmagomedov said he would welcome UFC star Dustin Poirier to the promotion after ‘The Diamond’ hinted at retirement following his loss at UFC 269.
“Just call me, I’m gonna sign Dustin Poirier in Eagle FC, 165,” he told ESPN.
“Dustin, he can fight in 170, it’s a little hard to 155 of course he always [makes it], but it’s going to be good for him, 165.
“If UFC release him, Khabib is here always with Eagle FC, we’re gonna sign him and make some charity stuff together. Let’s go Dustin, just call me, you know my manager’s number.”