Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov went through a very rough weight cut before stepping inside the octagon to make his fourth and final title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
On October 23rd, 2020, a frail-looking Nurmagomedov stepped onto the scale, having to use the towel to make 155lbs for the fight with Gaethje. There was a clear sign of relief on Nurmagomedov's face when it was announced that he had made weight. Undergoing such a difficult weight-cutting process often affects a fighter's performance; however, Khabib Nurmagomedov had no such issues.
In an episode of his UAE Training Camp vlog, Khabib Nurmagomedov takes you behind the scenes, showing his entire weight-cutting process for the fight. 'The Eagle' can be seen drenched in sweat and clearly struggling to shed the last few pounds before stepping onto the scale.
In the footage, a dreary-looking Khabib Nurmagomedov can be seen wearing multiple layers of clothing and doing cardio on the treadmill and then the cycle. The aim was to sweat off the last few pounds so he could make weight. A member of Khabib's team named Muhammad described how difficult the weight-cut was for the Dagestani fighter.
"We are not used to seeing him in this state," said Muhammad.
At one point, Khabib Nurmagomedov can be seen lying face-first on the floor, completely exhausted and unable to move his limbs. He asks his teammates to turn him around. However, he had to be lifted back up so he could continue shedding weight. The warrior that he is, Nurmagomedov didn't give up and successfully made weight.
Check out the footage of Khabib Nurmagomedov's grueling weight cut below:
Despite the grueling weight-cut, Khabib Nurmagomedov outclassed Justin Gaethje at UFC 254
When the cage doors shut behind him on October 24, Khabib Nurmagomedov put on a masterclass to beat Gaethje via second-round submission. Following the fight, Nurmagomedov shocked the entire MMA community by announcing his retirement.
After his father Abdulmanap's unfortunate demise in 2020 due to coronavirus-related complications, Khabib promised his mother he wouldn't fight again after the UFC 254 main event. Despite UFC president Dana White trying to coax him into stepping out of retirement, Nurmagomedov has since maintained that his days as a professional fighter are over.