A leading MMA nutritionist has questioned the legitimacy of Khabib Nurmagomedov's weigh-in ahead of his bout with Justin Gaethje this weekend.
The undefeated Russian grappler is set to put his lightweight belt on the line at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
The highly-anticipated clash is expected to be one of the fights of the year, with Gaethje riding the momentum of a stunning victory over Tony Ferguson back in May.
However, there are now doubts as to whether the fight should be going ahead at all. That is according to Mike Dolce, a nutritionist who has previously worked with Ronda Rousey and Thiago Alves.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Dolce claimed that he felt that Khabib was fortunate to officially make weight, and went on to explain his theory.
"Something very disturbing happened at the weigh-ins for UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje.
"What happened? When Khabib stepped on the scale, the inspector - either through sheer incompetence or (intentionally) - made a massive mistake that's maybe worth tens of millions of dollars.
"Unfortunately, in my expert opinion, I do not believe that Khabib would have made the 155-pound weight class limit on this attempt."
Khabib certainly looked relieved when the weight was read out and he was bang on the 155lb limit. Dolce argues that the 32-year-old's body language was a clear sign that he had reached the limit of his weight cut, and would not have been able to lose any more if needed.
"Now, Khabib was the first man on the scale and would've had time to cut that additional weight if he was physically able, but when you look at his language I will explain why he wouldn't have been able to do it.
"(The beam is going in an) upwards trajectory, and it has to balance.
It's going up. That means he's heavy, and (the official) wipes it there as it's still on its way up. It doesn't bounce and doesn't stabilize in the center. That's not correct.
Khabib has had issue with making weight before, most notably when he was forced to pull out of UFC 209 in 2017 having been rushed to hospital just hours before the weigh-in.
On this occasion, he has made weight, despite the suspicious circumstances. This latest twist certainly adds intrigue to what promises to be a gripping contest on Saturday night.
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