Nutritionist: Khabib Needs Integrity for 145
During the UFC 219 media day, top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed he was seriously considering a drop down to the featherweight division.
Nurmagomedov’s UFC 219 bout with Edson Barboza will be his first under nutritionist Tyler Minton. Minton talked to MMA Fighting on Dec. 29, the day of the UFC 219 weigh-ins, where Nurmagomedov weighed in on point with no issues. Nurmagomedov has had some problems making 155 in the past, namely when he was forced to pull out of an interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson days before UFC 209 in March. Nurmagomedov reportedly had fallen ill due to a bad weight cut.
But this weight cut appeared to go smoothly, and “The Eagle” looked to be fit and healthy heading into this bout.
“This cut’s going really well,” Minton said. “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.”
When asked about if the drop to 145 was practical in his eyes, Minton, who also works with the UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway, as well as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, said Nurmagomedov needs diligence, and he needs to give more time for the cut, or else it won’t be possible. But given he does those two things, Minton thinks a drop to featherweight could be fine.
I think his body will do it. 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.