American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez is puzzled by some of the reaction to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in ahead of UFC 254.
Following the official weigh-ins Friday, many took to social media to point out a couple of things about Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) stepping on the scale: the way his weight was measured and how he looked.
Mendez, who wasn’t present at the weigh-ins, said he doesn’t understand people’s comments questioning the weigh-in when they weren’t there. Mendez wasn’t there precisely because, according to him, there were no issues with Nurmagomedov’s weight cut.
“I can tell you that yesterday after the first weight cut, it was in the morning, he was six pounds off the weight, and he was going to do two cuts – one on Thursday morning and one at night,” Mendez told MMA Junkie in a phone interview. “He felt so good, and he was six pounds off, and he felt strong and said he was going to do the cut the next day. And (by then) he had four-and-a-half, maybe five pounds to go this morning.
Video: Khabib Nurmagomedov only interested in Georges St-Pierre fight after UFC 254 (Yahoo! Sports)
“I asked him, ‘How was the weight cut?’ And he said, ‘Easy, coach, like last time.’ And last time wasn’t that hard. I mean, all weight cuts are hard as you know, but I don’t understand (why) people are making something of nothing. It’s stupid. He wasn’t struggling. If you would’ve watched him right now, he was grappling, you’d say wow that guy is strong as hell.”
Nurmagomedov defends his UFC lightweight title against interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on Saturday in the main event of UFC 254, which streams live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.