Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach, Javier Mendez, has responded to speculation about Nurmagomedov’s physique and well-being after he barely made weight at yesterday’s weigh-in.
Nurmagomedov, 32, will defend his lightweight title tonight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
‘The Eagle’, who has not fought since UFC 242 last September, weighed in at 155lbs at yesterday’s weigh-in, but he required a towel to cover him so that he could step onto the scale without the weight of his clothes.
The 28-0 fighter was also supported onto the scale by the two employees who held his towel.
The weigh-in was not without controversy, as some UFC fans have claimed that the scale was still moving when Nurmagomedov’s weight was announced, suggesting that he may not have even made weight.
One Twitter user, @MMA_365, said that the “bar wasn’t even done moving” when The Eagle’s weight was announced, while others pointed out that the Russian fighter looked incredibly relieved when he was given the green light.
American Kickboxing Academy coach Mendez has responded to these claims, telling MMA Junkie:
“I can tell you that yesterday after the first weight cut, it was in the morning, he was six pounds off the weight, and he was going to do two cuts – one on Thursday morning and one at night.
“He felt so good, and he was six pounds off, and he felt strong and said he was going to do the cut the next day. And (by then) he had four-and-a-half, maybe five pounds to go this morning.
“I asked him, ‘How was the weight cut?’ And he said, ‘Easy, coach, like last time.’ And last time wasn’t that hard. I mean, all weight cuts are hard as you know, but I don’t understand (why) people are making something of nothing. It’s stupid.
He wasn’t struggling. If you would’ve watched him right now – he was grappling – you’d say, ‘Wow. That guy is strong as hell.'”
Nurmagomedov’s fight with Gaethje is expected to take place at 10pm.News Now - Sport News