Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov went through an especially tortuous weight-making process ahead of his fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, new footage has revealed.
The video, offering insight into the champion’s preparation for his final fight, shows us the weight-making process in detail and the Russian looks uncharacteristically downbeat throughout the process.
Wearing a sweat suit, jumping on and off the treadmill and exercise bike and then being covered in towels, we see Khabib push his body to the limits in an attempt to sweat out the last few pounds.
The fighter visibly weakens as he begs his body to lose the last few pounds before fight night. At one point, a member of his team comments: “We are not used to seeing him in this state, but it’s fine.”
Another said: “The last day of a weight cut is always difficult. However prepared you are, the last day is always difficult.”
It’s always concerning to see the extreme lengths some fighters go to to make weight, but in combat sports, this is an age old story. However, Khabib fans will no doubt watch this with concern, as their man did admit back in 2018 that he had suffered seizures when getting ready for his fight with Conor McGregor.
The fact that weight-making at lightweight has got so hard is likely the explanation for Khabib’s sudden and decisive retirement, which he announced directly in the wake of his fight with Gaethje. Although, it’s also worth noting the passing of his father also played a huge role in that sudden decision.
Part of Khabib’s advantage in the ring has been his ability to bring his strength and sizeable frame down to the lightweight limit. The video shows us, though that, as a fighter gets older, weight-making gets harder.
Followed by the behind the scenes cameras, the champ puts his head in his hands – hugely relieved – when his official weight of 155lbs is announced.
The process looks truly excruciating, but it clearly worked. Khabib impressed when he got in the cage against his American opponent. He finished the fight with a triangle choke hold in the second round.
We bet he’s glad he never has to make weight ever again, especially after watching this footage!