UFC puzzled at Khalidov’s rejection of 20/20 offer
Chechen fighter Mamed Khalidov boasts a five-fight win streak, a 25-4-2 record, wins over Matt Lindland, Igor Pokrajac, and Jorge Santiago, and a fan friendly style. The star of Polish promotion KSW makes very good money for the sub-UFC circuit, a reported $30,000 per fight, plus sponsorships.
However, when Khalidov received a four-fight UFC offer beginning at 20&20, he referred it as ‘laughable’ and ‘humiliating’ apparently hoping for something closer to Michael Bisping money.
The response was puzzling to the UFC, as reported by Fighters Only.
“If you look at the conditions for the first and second fight, they are not really acceptable. If they were decent then I would accept. I’m not saying that everyone knows who I am, but I’m not anonymous,” said Khalidov.
“Michael Bisping for one fight gets about $500,000 and is lower in the rankings. I understand that he is a star there and has taken time for the money. On the other hand I can not agree to humiliating terms.”
“UFC expects spectacular fights… I have proved by fighting in EliteXC, in the US, in Japan, that I can fight this way and I do not think I need to prove it once again… I know that this is a business but if they do not see me as a player worth big money, it makes no sense to fight there.”
Fighters Only spoke to a source on the Zuffa side who said that Khalidov’s comments were puzzling considering that he was offered a 20&20 deal. His first fight, if he won it, would be worth $40,000. If he lost he would get $20,000 – less than his KSW rate but more than UFC newcomers who are unknown in the US.
“With all due respect to Khalidov his claim to be higher in the rankings than Michael Bisping is in itself laughable,” says the source. “Who has beaten really?”
As of now the offer is still on the table for Khalidov but Fighters Only has learned that the financial terms will not be altered. He can either accept the $20,000/$20,000 four-fight deal or elect to remain with KSW.