Khabib Nurmagomedov is just about as flawless a fighter as they come, yet, one of the only criticisms most have of the Dagestani is his ability to manage his weight
Having seen his bout with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 canceled just hours before both were due to fight, Nurmagomedov was the subject of reports claiming that it was a botched weight cut which led to his withdrawal from the fight.
The 29-year-old’s stellar performance against Edson Barboza at Saturday’s UFC 219 in Las Vegas reminded fans just what they were missing. “The Eagle” plans to fight three times in 2018 and addressed claims that his weight management is an issue (transcript via BloodyElbow):
“You know guys, I’ve never had a problem with weight cuts,” Khabib said during the UFC 219 press conference. “My problem, my number one enemy is injuries, because I train so hard. I’m not training like other UFC fighters. I’m training so hard, and my training partners know about this.
“Last couple of years, I tried to change some things and I think I do this very well,” he continued. “I changed a lot of things but I never had a problem with weight cuts. Now, I’m healthy. Everywhere, I’m healthy, inside, outside, knees, back, everything is healthy. When I began this training camp, I felt good. And when I’m healthy, I always make weight.”
With a paltry four fights in four years, Nurmagomedov has failed to live up to his immense potential due to injuries. A healthier, less injury prone Khabib, by his own admission, should see him achieve great things in the UFC in 2018:
“Next year, I’m gonna stay busy, stay healthy, no injuries,” Khabib said. “And I wanna fight April (or) May, before Ramadan. After (that), I wanna fight September, then I wanna fight December. This is my plan. I want to fight three times in 2018, if no injuries are coming, I hope.”