The most grueling aspect of MMA is, without a doubt, when the two fighters throw down inside the Octagon. But, outside of the cage, fighters must undergo a weight cutting process which, in some cases, is more dangerous than the combat itself.
Nurmagomedov, in an episode that raises more questions about his reliability and the rigors of cutting weight, fell ill trying to make 155 pounds, forcing the scrapping of his anticipated UFC 209 interim lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson earlier this year.
Not long after Nurmagomedov was deemed medically unfit to compete, many fans slammed the 29-year-old’s choice of food during the build-up to the fight.
Several Tiramisu-based jokes have been aimed Nurmagomedov’s way in recent months, mostly by Ferguson.
Coach Mendez told submission radio recently, (Via MMAFighting)
“You know, the last time, people were making too much of his weight cut, talking about it was disastrous, he wasn’t gonna make weight, just because his opponent says he wasn’t gonna make weight and he made fun of it. He was on schedule to make weight, his body just failed on him,” Mendez said.
“It’s like, how many times do you see a fighter get ready for a fight and all of a sudden kidney stones or something happens to him? Look, it does have a lot to do with losing weight that causes these problems, but it wasn’t that he wasn’t gonna make weight, he was gonna make weight, he wasn’t over anything, he was just like where he normally is. And just the thing with Khabib is, he doesn’t like to say anything about it, and he still won’t say anything about it.”
“And then there’s that tiramisu bulls**t. You know, he don’t eat that stuff, he never ate that stuff. He’s with a bunch of fighters that aren’t in camp and not fighting, so they’re not allowed to eat because he’s not allowed to eat? It’s like stupid, you know? Too much has been made up of something that wasn’t even there.”
Nurmagomedov, 24-0, makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon in the co-main event of UFC 219, a card which will see him take on Edson Barboza. Khabib has been quiet about his weight leading up to his fight with Barboza.
One rumor that Mendez could confirm is that ‘El Cucuy’ was a real possibility to fight Nurmagomedov at year’s end card, but there were other factors in play that prevented it from proceeding.
“Yeah, 100 percent true, they offered Tony. But listen, you know, Tony, when he was going for that gold, he was saying, ‘I’ll defend, I’ll do this, I’ll do that,’ but reality is, he’s the fighter but he’s got businessmen that manage him, and they’re doing a good job doing with that. And it comes down to, once you reach that mountain top, which Tony has, then it’s about making the wise choices that make the most sense.
“And let’s face it, a bout with Khabib versus a bout with Conor, which was what Dana was talking about, everybody was talking about, if you were in Tony’s shoes what would you do? You’re not just gonna fight anybody that comes up and whatever. No, he’s gonna try to get himself in that sweepstake situation with Conor, and you can’t blame him, I don’t blame him.”
What do you think Khabib will manage to make weight for his upcoming bout?