Khabib Nurmagomedov has shed some light on the terrible turn of events that led to the cancellation of his potential career changing bout against Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 last month.
Nurmagomedov failed to report to the weigh-ins on the morning of March 3 due to being hospitalized the night before due to complications from his weight cut. He appeared on “The MMA Hour” on Monday and shared that he remembers very little of the day before weigh-ins. “Of course I don’t feel good all the time,” he said. “But I think this is like something different. And when I go home the night before weigh-ins, I feel crazy. I’m cutting weight with my team, and I don’t remember how I cut weight. I don’t remember a lot of things, something going wrong.”
Something was wrong indeed. Nurmagomedov was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital where he was told there was no way he would be making weight or fighting the next day. “The doctor say, ‘You cannot fight. You almost die. How you fight? How you can fight if you almost die? … No way. We say no fight, 100 percent. No make weight. No fight. No nothing. You need to stay in the hospital for seven hours, we have to make sure your body is good.’ But I feel I almost died.”
Despite nearly dying, Nurmagomedov insists that lightweight is still the best weight class for him. “I don’t think I’m cutting too much weight,” Nurmagomedov said. “I make weight, 155.5 pounds, when I fight with Michael Johnson and I feel very good. I feel perfect. I make weight no problem. I never fight 170, because I can make it. I make 155 all of my career,” he said. “I make all my amateur career at 155. All the time, I can make and I will make 155.”
With the Ramadan approaching, Nurmagomedov is now looking or a late summer fight and knows that he will be under the microscope when it comes to his weight cut and plans to make whatever adjustments are necessary to make sure he makes his weight and his fight. “I am professional fighter and I have to make weight and this is my job, but sometimes you cannot control your body, and you do everything. This is my fault. I know, 100 percent, this my fault. But we will see what happens next time. I’m going to come back. This is not finished. This is not finished, my career. I’m going to fix my body and come back.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Every account of Nurmagomedov weight cut that week sounds like it was an absolutely horrible experience. He has missed weight before so you have to wonder if 155 is the best weight for him or not. He’s been successful enough in the division and has gone long enough in between missing weight where I can support giving him one more chance to make 155, but after that, he would have to move up to 170. As for who he should fight next, so much is up in the air with the lightweight division and it all depends on what Conor McGregor ends up doing next. An interim title fight later this year may be the right move, but I’m not sure if Nurmagomedov should be the one to be in that fight considering what happened before UFC 209.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Last Friday’s Bellator 175 event headlined by King Mo vs. Rampage Jackson averaged 909,000 viewers. It was the highest rated Bellator show since January’s Tito Ortiz-Chael Sonnen fight that averaged 1.37 million viewers.
-Bellator sent out a press release Monday stating they have partnered with NASCAR and Monster Energy to host fights at select NASCAR races. NASCAR soon made a statement of their own saying that they have no partnership with Bellator, and Bellator went on to revise their original statement saying that details will come soon. Bellator may be holding fights in conjunction with NASCAR events through Monster Energy, who sponsor NASCAR events, but may have no official ties to NASCAR itself.
-Ariel Helwani tweeted that Jon Jones will be speaking to the media on Friday ahead of UFC 210 taking place in Buffalo.
Jon Jones will meet with the press Friday night in Buffalo, per the UFC. Been almost exactly 9 months (pre-200) since he's done that.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 4, 2017
-Sage Northcutt, 21, is having his tonsils removed next week after recurring bouts of strep throat. (SOURCE)
-UFC has named Duncan French Vice President of Performance for UFC’s new Performance Institute. French most recently worked as Director of Performance Sciences and Director of Olympic Sport Strength & Conditioning at the University of Notre Dame. (SOURCE)
-The first two episodes of UFC 210 Embedded have been released.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP
-Leonardo Santos vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC 212 on June 3 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
-Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone at UFC 213 on July 8 from Las Vegas.
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)