Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is perhaps the most successful Russian MMA fighter of all time. The fighter, who retired in 2020 with an unbeaten record of 29-0, has won several big fights against the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.
With so many big wins and several brand endorsements, Nurmagomedov has a reported net worth of $200 million. Unlike his arch-rival Conor McGregor, Khabib does not believe in leading a very luxurious lifestyle. Despite his tremendous success, Nurmagomedov still resides in his home country, Dagestan.
But, he has made quite a few investments in the region, such as opening up a chain restaurant in Russia. In January 2019, The Eagle opened up the first outlet of his restaurant, “M-Eat by Khabib,” at the City of Capitals skyscraper in Moscow, Russia. But that was not the only outlet, as Khabib’s company opened up outlets throughout the country.
However, according to a report on TheBestofMMA YouTube channel, it looks like several of the outlets have been shut down. Although there is no further follow-up to the news, it does sound concerning for Khabib. The exact total number of outlets seems to be 7, as confirmed by one of the Instagram posts from the restaurant.
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The restaurant also planned on expanding its business to Kazakhstan. In a post on December 2022, they confirmed the news that “M-Eat by Khabib” was set to open its first outlet in Kazakhstan. But, just 3 months later, the news of several outlets closing, begs the question if all is well with Khabib’s financial status or not. But the eatery is not his only business that’s future is in doubt.
Does Khabib Nurmagomedov still own Eagle FC?
After his retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov did not stay away from MMA for too long. He bought an MMA promotion for a mere $1 million and named it “Eagle FC.” Although it was a small-time promotion, Khabib’s association made it a very recognizable brand. After hosting a number of shows in Russia, the promotion finally came to the United States of America as well.
They held their shows in Florida and even signed up stars and legends such as Kevin Lee and Diego Sanchez. The pair even fought each other at an Eagle FC event. But since then, things have become really quiet on that front and Lee re-signed with the UFC. So fans are wondering if Khabib has sold the promotion or not.
Upon further research, it has been discovered that Eagle FC’s official website is up for sale. As far as the last event from the promotion is concerned, it was held on December 10, 22 in Kazakhstan. Since then, there is no word on if the promotion is planning on holding any other events or not. Despite the hiatus, it does appear that Khabib still owns the MMA promotion.
At the beginning of 2023, Khabib announced that he was going to take an elongated break from MMA. He spoke about wanting to spend more time with his loved ones as the reason for his decision. Hence, Khabib was not even present during the UFC 285 fight week, where his protege, Islam Makhachev, defended his lightweight belt for the first time against Alexander Volknovski. So it means Khabib is not running things at Eagle FC.
Will Eagle FC continue without Khabib in charge?
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently working on a Metaverse project for his fans. On top of that, he is also doing some tours on his own. Amid his absence, Eagle FC’s president, Shamil Zavurov, revealed that Khabib is not in the right headspace to be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the promotion.
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In January, after Khabib’s announcement, Shamil added that he knew about Nurmagomedov’s decision prior to it being public. He elaborated on it and added that khabib’s extremely hectic work schedule was the reason behind his burning out. On top of that, running an MMA promotion took up a lot of his time. Hence, Khabib walked away from MMA. But, is the promotion going to survive?
Speaking about it with Sambo Says, Shamil added, “But if Eagle FC begins to take up a lot of his time, then of course the next day he’ll tell us ‘Hey guys, sorry but this isn’t what I told the team I’d be stepping aside for.’ So we’ll have to tread carefully in how much we ask of him. Free him up a little. Make sure not to overload him and for myself as president not to always call him over to every event… But Eagle FC is a promotion. It would be difficult without Khabib. Not even difficult … it would fall apart. So we asked him to stay with us for now.” (h/t via Bloody Elbow)
There are reports that a big portion of the salary for Eagle FC fighters was paid in Bitcoins or cryptocurrency. However, the value of such internet currencies has fallen drastically since their inception.
One Twitter user, who goes by the username, “Fedor’s nephew” and claims to be the Russian editor for popular MMA website “Tapology,” revealed that monetary issues were one of the big reasons behind Kevin Lee’s frustrations with Eagle FC. Lee previously claimed that he made more than some of the UFC champs of his debut for the Nurmagomedov-run company.
His commentating without knowing anything about fighters he’s commentating on or even how to correctly pronounce their names. And now he openly looking elsewhere for fight opportunities.— Fedor’s nephew (@FdrNphw) December 28, 2022
Fans were allowed to watch Eagle FC for free on the official website. So there was no PPV revenue for the promotion either. With the website being up for sale and no events since December 2022, one can assume that the promotion is dead in the waters. Perhaps the lack of revenue caused Khabib to lose a lot of money behind the promotion.
However, if Shamil Zavurov is to be believed, the promotion still plans to put on shows in the future. Perhaps once Khabib decides to return to the fold, the company will be up and running again. But for now, there is nothing but uncertainty about the future of the once highly-rated promotion.