Missing weight at UFC events is nothing new, as the practice has been going on for ever. However, the UFC has grown much bigger and there is a lot at stake, fans expect more professionalism from the heavily paid athletes to at least make their weight and show up at the Octagon.
At UFC 209, a hugely anticipated title fight between the top two title challengers in the lightweight division failed to happen, because one of the fighters couldn’t make weight and was hospitalized due to the effects of sudden weight loss.
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov missed out last weekend’s interim Lightweight title fight with Tony “EL Cucuy” Ferguson in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of that fight would have gone on to earn the big money title fight with the lightweight champion Conor “The Notorious” McGregor next.
With this missed opportunity, the Russian also missed out on his biggest ($500,000 minimum) pay-day of his career along with the chance to meet ‘The Irishman’. Even though his opponent, Ferguson got paid $250,000 for making himself available for the fight, he is really pissed-off and called Khabib ‘disrespectful’ and ‘unprofessional’.
This is not the first time “The Eagle” has missed weight in his career, Khabib is known for cutting insane amounts of weight (37 pounds on average) before the fight, which is unbelievable. One can see why he has been having so many problems when it comes to cutting weight.
Ferguson said: “It was very disrespectful and very unprofessional what his camp did, especially after all that was said leading up to the fight.”
“EL Cucuy”, who himself missed his last three attempts to make weight, said: “I felt like shit — the right side of my body was hurting, my back was hurting, but you guys never know me to say anything,” Ferguson said. “I had two more pounds to lose in the morning. I went, I lost my weight in the morning, it sucked, we went to the weigh-ins, I did my part, I went on the scale. I went back to the hotel room and said I need to lay down, I don’t feel too good. I don’t know, from just eating and rehydrating too fast or what it was.”
It is understandable from Ferguson’s point of view that after 3 failed attempts, when he did make weight, his opponent failed to show up, to add up to his frustrations.
He added: “I would love to fight Khabib, but there’s no guarantee he’s going to show up and make the weight, I found out, too, that he was eating tiramisu a couple weeks ago on Embedded. I’m like, what is this guy doing? Really? It’s plain disrespectful, it’s unprofessional.”
With Khabib out of the picture for the time being, Ferguson wants the title shot he deserves with the ‘King’ McGregor, who has never failed to make weight in his entire career.
“My next fight needs to be a title fight — I’ve earned every single right of the way, Somebody that’s guaranteed to show up. I’ve done all my homework, I’ve done, made my ends me for this fight. But, if we’re talking Khabib, there’s got to be some sort of guarantee or insurance for this, man. It’s a crazy bug that I can’t squash and its a tough pill to swallow right now.”
As far as Nurmagomedov is concerned, maybe he needs to move up to welterweight to fix his weight issues. He should look at the example of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, who struggled until he found his true home at light heavyweight division and has been unstoppable ever since.