Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to face Tony Ferguson for the UFC Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 209, but the fighter pulled out of the bout due to issues with his weight cut.
The lightweight contender has now revealed that the weight cut for the fight nearly killed him.
“The doctor say, ‘you cannot fight. You almost die. How you fight? How you can fight if you almost die? ... No way. We say no fight, 100 percent. No make weight. No fight. No nothing. You need to stay in the hospital for seven hours, we have to make sure your body is good.’ But I feel I almost died,” Nurmagomedov said on The MMA Hour. “We know a lot of times when you’re cutting weight, you can die. I know one month ago somebody died in Brazil. Before, somebody died in Japan. We know sometimes this happens. But this can happen with me too. If we still cutting weight, and we still force my body, maybe I can die too? But it’s okay. Sometimes when I have injury or when I have bad situation, I all the time come back strong. Now, I know a lot of people asked about this, a lot of fans asked about this because this is a very big fight. The UFC promote this fight very good. We promote this fight. A lot of people are waiting for this fight. I know a lot of fans are upset about this, and I understand this, but I want to say sorry about everything. And I come back. I’m going to come back.”
Nurmagomedov is still recovering from the disastrous weight cut, and will not be returning to action until late summer at the earliest as Ramadan is upcoming.
A return to the lightweight division is expected for the fighter, who is returning from Germany after getting assistance with his health issues.
“I don’t think I’m cutting too much weight,” Nurmagomedov said. “I make weight, 155.5 pounds, when I fight with Michael Johnson and I feel very good. I feel perfect. I make weight no problem. I’m just coming from Germany. I need like three or five months to make my body the same, three or five months of rehab. And obviously I’m going to Germany, I’m going to fix everything. This problem, this is not about cutting weight. This is about my health, and I have to [fix] my health in three or five months, and I’m going to come back. I think I can fight end of September. In Germany I’m going to check my body, what happened, everything. And I have a little bit of a problem with something, but I don’t want to talk about this. But I need a couple months to fix everything.”
Despite his recent setbacks, the fighter is still undefeated as a pro and he’s ranked #1 in the UFC Lightweight Division.
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