Khabib Nurmagomedov Says he May Drop to Featherweight After UFC 219

Dagestani lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov has surprised pretty much everyone but himself by claiming that he is considering cutting down to 145 pounds following the conclusion of his bout against Edson Barboza on Saturday

Yes, really.

“The Eagle” told Megan Olivi that the option to fight featherweight champ Max Holloway is one which he is seriously considering:

“I feel great; my weight is very good,” Nurmagomedov said. “To be honest, I am thinking about next fight – maybe I am going to 145. We are thinking about this. I am focused on Barboza, but we’ll see — maybe 145. We gonna see, with my team, we gonna see first how I feel Friday morning. We’ll see. We’re gonna make weight.

“Maybe I’m gonna take [the] 155 belt and then fight for the [featherweight] belt — champion vs. champion, 145. I think I can make this weight — 145 — too.”

Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from his last scheduled bout with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 earlier this year. Having reportedly undergone a difficult and dangerous weight cut, the unbeaten fighter was rushed to hospital with complications which had reportedly affected his liver. The idea that he would somehow manage to compete at ten pounds lighter than 155, given previous calls for him to fight at welterweight for health reasons, seems odd.

“This time, everything is different,” Nurmagomedov added. “I changed a lot of things. Eat like a champion, train like a champion, sleep like a champion…everything. And I think this is about maturing, everything about how you stay focused. I’m very excited about this fight, about this weigh-in — we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to talk too much about weight classes; Saturday we’re gonna make a plan.” 

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