KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV made £13million last year to become one of the richest young stars in Russia.
The 31-year-old fought only once last year, having served a nine-month suspension from October 2018 for his part in the UFC 229 brawl that followed his win over Conor McGregor.
But according to Forbes, unbeaten Khabib pocketed £13m through lucrative deals and his submission win against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.
A temporary 13,000-seater arena was built on Yas Island – which hosts the UFC’s ‘Fight Island’ – for Nurmagomedov, who has a huge fan base in the Middle East.
For the win last September he made £8m through his purse, bonuses and share of pay-per-view buys.
More than 26 million people in Russia tuned in on ‘First Channel’ – a free-to-air station – to watch his fight against Poirier.
Such is his popularity, sponsors have been quick to back the Russian grappler.
Reebok, Toyota, energy drink Gorilla and black cumin oil company Al Hadaya are among Nurmagomedov’s sponsorship list.
The lightweight champion has also earned a reported £63,000 for each speaking engagement.
Thank you so much my friend @faz3 for everything and great hospitality, it was amazing time. @faz3 @f3 @nas_sc
Nurmagomedov’s dad and coach Abdulmanap believes his son’s net worth is close to £80m.
The fighter also earns a fortune doing promotional events and has been seen mingling with mega-rich Arabs.
Nurmagomedov was forced out of UFC 249 in May amid the coronavirus pandemic, but is expected to face interim champion Justin Gaethje in September to unify the lightweight division.