No matter what, there is a ghost that haunts Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s not a fight with Conor McGregor, it’s not a loss in the UFC because the man has none. What follows the Russian Sambo machine wherever he goes is his infamous weight cut battle. A war he lost back at UFC 209, causing his highly anticipated fight with Tony Ferguson to be scrapped. Despite all of this, coach Javier Mendez claims it has all been blown way out of proportion.
“You know, the last time, people were making too much of [Khabib Nurmagomedov’s] weight cut, talking about it was disastrous, he wasn’t gonna make weight, just because his opponent says he wasn’t gonna make weight and he made fun of it. He was on schedule to make weight, his body just failed on him. It’s like, how many times do you see a fighter get ready for a fight and all of a sudden kidney stones or something happens to him?”
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 22, 2017
“Look, it does have a lot to do with losing weight that causes these problems, but it wasn’t that he wasn’t gonna make weight, he was gonna make weight, he wasn’t over anything, he was just like where he normally is. And just the thing with Khabib is, he doesn’t like to say anything about it, and he still won’t say anything about it. So, you know. And then there’s that tiramisu bullsh-t. You know, he don’t eat that stuff, he never ate that stuff. He’s with a bunch of fighters that aren’t in camp and not fighting, so they’re not allowed to eat because he’s not allowed to eat? It’s like stupid, you know? Too much has been made up of something that wasn’t even there.” — Javier Mendez speaking to Submission Radio.
Perhaps this is why Khabib Nurmagomedov has been quiet about his weight leading up to his fight with Edson Barboza at UFC 219. Even joking with media about how it is not polite to ask fighters about weight, or that he is trying to decide if he is going to cut off his left or right leg to make it. Regardless, fight fans and those in the industry alike just want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting (safely) again in the Octagon. The last time we saw him, he was calmly carrying a conversation with Michael Johnson as he dominated him to an impressive victory.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/22/2017.