This past weekend, undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov was set to step into the Octagon with streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson for a highly anticipated interim lightweight title fight. Unfortunately, the morning of weigh-ins, reports began to surface that Nurmagomedov had been hospitalized.
These reports were confirmed shortly thereafter, and Nurmagomedov was ultimately pulled from the card altogether after it was determined that he would not be fit to compete in time. While the UFC initially was looking for a replacement opponent for Ferguson, they ultimately chose to scrap the fight as a whole.
While details remained scarce, UFC President Dana White stated that had Nurmagomedov’s team not gone “rogue” the fight could have been saved.
Now, The Eagle’s manager has spoken to MMAFighting to discuss the situation in great detail, saying:
“Two days before the fight he had a little flu, but he took his vitamin C, and he was feeling alright,” he said. “It was something very minor, and he didn’t even need to go to a doctor. Vitamin C, rest and sleeping. When you cut weight your immune system goes down. The weight cut, I’m telling you, it was the same as every time, and every time he makes weight. The last time he fought Michael Johnson, he makes weight. But I think this time, something different. The pain was coming from his liver, but I think the dehydration for sure, and I think it was part of the process.”
“Listen, I don’t know if the fight can be saved or maybe can be saved if we went to a different hospital, but the first thing they wanted to do with Khabib, they want to stick him with some IVs,” he said. “Me and the doctor who’s fighting with Khabib to put an IV in him, he fought him for almost an hour-and-a-half, and finally the pain was so great, he just got an IV with some medication in it, and we all submitted. Now he probably went back to 165 or so, there’s no way this fight can happen.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/8/2017.