UFC 209 was originally supposed to have a UFC Interim Lightweight Title Fight in the co-main event slot as Tony Ferguson was to battle Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, it was revealed during the weigh-ins that Nurmagomedov had been taken to the hospital due to the effects of the weight cut and was pulled from the card.
UFC President Dana White is now unsure what the future holds for the #1 ranked lightweight fighter.
“To be honest with you, Khabib fought (at UFC 205) in New York in November then here in this fight,” White said during a UFC 209 media scrum. “Two back-to-back weight cuts like that. I don’t know if he can make the weight or if he needs to get a better plan (or) dietician. Something. I don’t know (what he should do). He got within six pounds and was in really rough shape. He’s going to have to take some time to recover from this weight cut, and then I don’t know what to do.”
It was also said later on that Nurmagomedov’s team actually took the fighter to the hospital without the consent of the UFC.
White believes that it was a mistake because not only could the promotion have possibly saved the fight, but could’ve provided superior medical care as well.
“So what would have been different is if he had called Dr. (Jeff) Davidson or Briana (Mattison), the two who handle all the medical stuff for the UFC, they would have brought him right to the hospital,” White said. “Apparently he was treated horrible at (Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas). Shocker here in Vegas; that’s no shock. He should have gone to Valley Hospital (Medical Center). He should have been with (Dr. Davidson, who) would have taken him right in. They would have checked him right in and seen where he was. When you walk into just some random hospital here in Las Vegas and they see the guy and they tell him the weight cut, they just start filling him with fluids. That’s immediately what they do. They bring you in, they stick in the IV, and they start. (Dr. Davidson) would have checked his vitals, seen where he was. I’m not saying that the fight could have been saved, but maybe it could have. We’ve been in these positions before. This isn’t our first rodeo.”
Michael Johnson had agreed to step in on short notice to fight Ferguson at the event, but Ferguson turned down the opportunity.
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