Javier Mendez doesn’t understand why people are making something out of nothing when it comes to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in.
Ahead of his UFC 254 lightweight title unification clash with Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov was the first to step in on the scales for weigh-ins on Friday. Although he weighed in successfully at championship weight much to his relief, many observers noted how the weigh-in was dodgy.
Long-time nutritionist Mike Dolce — who has helped fighters with weigh cuts — even made a YouTube video stating that Nurmagomedov actually missed weight, but was helped by the incompetence of the official who operated the scale prematurely before it could balance.
Dolce explained that the beam was still going in an upwards trajectory while the official balanced the scale which meant that the already-depleted Nurmagomedov was heavy by one or two pounds.
Others on social media have since claimed it was a conspiracy so that the main star of the event can defend his title without making the weight.
Mendez Responds To Nurmagomedov Controversy
As far as Nurmagomedov’s head coach Mendez is concerned, though he wasn’t present at the weigh-ins, it’s all a mountain out of a molehill especially as “The Eagle” only had a few pounds left to cut in the morning.
“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,” Mendez told MMA Junkie. “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.”
In addition, others like UFC middleweight Deron Winn, have pointed out that fighters step on the scale in the back before going for an official weigh-in.
“FYI the @ufc makes you step on the scale in a back room before you go for the official weigh in. You don’t get to step on the official scale unless you’re on weight and especially if you are the first one on the scale 🤷🏾♂️”
FYI the @ufc makes you step on the scale in a back room before you go for the official weigh in. You don’t get to step on the official scale unless you’re on weight and especially if you are the first one on the scale 🤷🏾♂️
— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) October 23, 2020
It’s certainly still a bit dodgy but it could also simply be down to official incompetence.
In the end, Gaethje’s team isn’t complaining and neither should fight fans who will be getting to see one of the most highly-anticipated fights in recent memory.