Despite calls by some for lightweight stand out Khabib Nurmagomedov to move up to welterweight, the Dagestani made a surprising revelation earlier this week that he was considering doing the opposite
Rather than move up a weight class, Nurmagomedov suggested that he would potentially look towards a challenge for the 145-pound title currently held by Max Holloway.
Tyler Minton, the nutritionist hired by the Russian for his camp ahead of Saturday night’s bout with Edson Barboza, believes that the concept of Nurmagomedov moving down a weight class is not as outlandish as it may sound:
“Well, he means it. This cut’s going really well,” Minton said (via BloodyElbow). “Again, I’m not trying to tempt the MMA gods here, but the cut’s going really well. And when a guy sees that the cut’s going really well, and you see big possible fights at 145, you think, ‘Well, are there things I could start doing two months sooner and be 10 pounds lighter to make the cut easier?’ You start looking, ‘Are there things I could do?’
“So I think he’s seeing this weight cut’s going better and seeing maybe if he even starts sooner, it would be easier. But no, I think he means it.”
With an adaptation to his weight-cutting regime, Minton believes that there is scope for the Russian to potentially challenge at 145:
“I think his body will do it,” Minton claimed. “That being said, I think he would need to have plenty of time. He would need to have the most integrity he’s ever had in his life. He’s going to have to be on his game way ahead of time. It might be worth it, it might not. Some guys, just because you can make a weight doesn’t mean you should.
“Look at Robert Whittaker. He can make 170, but obviously he shouldn’t have. He’s better at 185. There’s a lot of that. So I think he can, it’s just, I would like to see where he’s at a couple months after this fight, what he’s walking at. I can generally tell you there if a guy’s ballooned up so much weight after one fight, it’s just not reasonable.”