Viral internet sensation Hasbulla Magomedov has reportedly signed a five-year deal with the UFC, according to MMA sports reporter Igor Lazorin. The deal won’t see Hasbulla, otherwise known as ‘mini Khabib’, step into the ring, however, it will significantly bolster his MMA credentiuals. Over the past two years, the social media star has managed to take his unique brand of entertainment offline and the world of Mixed Martial Arts has a lot to do with it. From his well-publicised spats with arch-rival Abdu Rozik to his ongoing feud with Conor McGregor, Hasbulla has made a lasting impression on the fight community and it appears to have paid off. Taking to Instagram on Monday, boxing, MMA and Olympic correspondent Lazorin reported that Hasbulla has officially linked with the global MMA organisation, assuming an ambassadorship role.
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“This is a blast from the face! Hasbulla signed a five year contract with UFC! So far in the plan – attending tournaments, media activity. We will not talk about the amounts in detail, but there they are such that many fighters do not get that much. Hasbulla signed 5 year contract with UFC! No fights yet, but…”
Importantly, the Hasbulla UFC deal has not been officially confirmed by the MMA organisation or the social media star. At this stage, Lazorin’s announcement remains hearsay, however, if true, it wouldn’t be entirely out of the blue. Hasbulla was in attendance for last October’s UFC 267 event in Abu Dhabi and was spotted inside the cage with recently retired MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov moments after fellow Russian fighter Islam Makhachev defeated New Zealander Dan Hooker.
His proximity to the action, along with his long-documented friendship with Nurmagomedov indicate he’s running in the right circles for a UFC advocacy deal, as Lazorin suggests. In fact, UFC president Dana White previously shared his admiration for Hasbulla, revealing that he’s had discussions with the pint-sized star. In an interview with Barstool Sports’ Robbie Fox ahead of UFC 268, White confirmed that he had met Hasbulla on Fight Island following a viral call-out on Instagram.
“So I’m going to tell you something. So the video that he sent saying ‘Dana White I’m coming to Abu Dhabi and UFC’, so when I posted that with me on the plane saying ‘I’m coming’, it’s the biggest post that I’ve ever posted.” White said. “I have 6.7 million followers on Instagram, 6.4 million people watched that video. Is that f*cking crazy? It was incredible, I love the kid.”
When pressed if he was considering offering Hasbulla an opportunity to fight in the UFC, White coyly responded: “Is there more than a zero per cent chance (that he fights in the UFC)? Yes.”
While the latest announcement from MMA reporter Igor Lazorin goes against speculation that Hasbulla is hopping into the octagon, it does make good on previous suspicions that White was in talks to linkup with the internet sensation. Considering how much traction Hasbulla gets, it’s no surprise that master marketer White would look to capitalise on his mass appeal, particularly in light of the recent spat with retired UFC legend Conor McGregor. Less than one week ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight and lightweight double-champion threatened to ‘punt’ Hasbulla over a goal post in a series of since-deleted Tweets.
The Hasbulla UFC deal rumours arrive just weeks after Hasbulla made his maiden voyage to Australia, coming into contact with basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal ahead of a sold-out live appearance. Fact truly is stranger than fiction.