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Eddie Hearn Reveals Two MMA 'Superstar Standouts' He Would Love To Sign To Matchroom

Eddie Hearn Reveals Two MMA 'Superstar Standouts' He Would Love To Sign To Matchroom

Eddie Hearn has admitted that he would love the opportunity to sign MMA superstars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor to Matchroom if he had the chance.

And Khabib, 32, has even teased the idea of following in McGregor's footsteps and fighting boxing legend Mayweather in a mega-crossover fight.

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Speaking to SPORTbible ahead of Mafia: Definitive Edition's launch, Hearn revealed the two "superstar standouts" to bring into the boxing world would be Conor and Khabib.

However, the 41-year-old Matchroom chief added that UFC star Jorge Masvidal would be another fighter who he would love to see inside the squared circle.

"I mean, the two superstar standouts are Conor McGregor and Khabib," Hearn told SPORTbible in an exclusive interview.

"I think that a lot of these guys look at boxing and some of the purses that are flying around in boxing and think, 'Oh, I'd like to have a go at that.'

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I think it's very difficult for... you know I've had a lot of these conversations on my podcast [No Passion, No Point] with Michael Bisping and Tony Bellew when we looked at Dillian Whyte against Francis Ngannou in that I feel like it's very difficult for an MMA fighter to compete with a boxer in the ring -- and vice versa in a cage.

"Like, Dillian Whyte has background in wrestling, he has background in kickboxing and some of these guys have background in boxing as well, but not to the level of each other, if you know what I mean.

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"I think that [Jorge] Masvidal is a great one to enter the boxing ring. Of course, Khabib and Conor [as well]. I think that Khabib has a lot to lose in respect to getting beat in a boxing ring. Right now, I think he might be deemed as unbeatable in the octagon, so he's got a lot of mileage.

"But as I think a lot of these guys approach the end of their careers, it is something that they look at in terms of crossing over, trying something different and challenging themselves."

Hearn also pointed out the significance of a crossover bout for women's sport and the idea of a super-fight between Katie Taylor and Cris Cyborg.

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According to the boxing promoter, Taylor vs Cyborg is the "kind of fight that can transcend the sport, particularly the women's side of the sport as well."

Taylor's promoter continued: "One fight I'm looking at on the women's side at the moment is Katie Taylor against [Cris] Cyborg.

"You know, Cris Cyborg has an excellent, excellent stand-up fighting ability. She's boxed before, she's a very dangerous striker. And Katie Taylor, of course, we know is a great boxer.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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"Now Katie won't get in the cage, but if Cyborg wants to come in the ring, that's the kind of fight that can transcend the sport, particularly the women's side of the sport as well.

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"The UFC do such a fantastic job in promotion and brand building, but they've done also such a fantastic job in building the women's element of the fight game.

"And that's something we're trying to follow suit, led by Katie Taylor. And obviously let's not forget the UFC was initially led by Ronda Rousey, going into Holly Holm and going into now Amanda Nunes as well.

"I think to see women as their own standalone pay-per-view stars within fight sports is fantastic."

Hearn, who has previously teased the idea of entering the gaming world to develop a boxing title, has been collaborating behind the scenes with 2K Games ahead of Mafia's release.

Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games

The Matchroom chief said that Mafia "reminded me of some sort of old-school Bugsy Malone remake, but actually a 2020 remake of Bugsy Malone."

Hearn explained: "Yeah, it's really good. I think that I suppose I'm a bit old now, to be honest with you, Adnan. I still feel like I'm in my 20s, but I'm in my 40s! I live in a household of kids that are just playing computer games non-stop.

"So, when I was first told that I was going to be involved in reviewing Mafia, I went straight into the kids and I was like, you know... they couldn't believe it. They actually still to this day think that it's a wind-up, so I enjoyed it.

"I'm trying to learn about the new world. We talk about the Fight Night game and people are dying for a boxing game to emerge, so I'm educating myself actually about the games, about the software, about the business.

Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games
Credit: 2K Games

"I was actually genuinely taken back with the quality of it all. It reminded me of some sort of old-school Bugsy Malone remake, but actually a 2020 remake of Bugsy Malone. It's amazing when you go back to my generation of playing computer games, which might have been the old-school Mario Kart and even going back to like Paperboy -- really showing my age now.

"And now you talk about watching these kind of games develop and everything from the cars to the animations to the suit to the script to the fight scenes -- it's actually quite amazing.

"It was like being involved in a gangster flick, but the opportunity where you actually get a chance to be in it and you get a chance to live that lifestyle.

"It's quite an old-school story, isn't it? The guy who's the local cab driver that gets thrown into this opportunity to move in with the family, the Mafia family.

"It's just weird to be that person rather than actually watch it unfold in a movie. I was really impressed. I was really impressed."


Eddie was talking to SPORTbible for the launch of 2K Games' new Mafia: Definitive Edition, available from today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a comprehensive, built-from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia, featuring all-new gameplay sequences and features, best-in-class cinematics, an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories and additional cutscenes. For more information head to: mafiagame.com/buy


Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor Mcgregor, Boxing News, Spotlight, Notorious, UFC News, MMA News, Boxing, Eddie Hearn, UFC, eagle, MMA

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]