How Khabib Nurmagomedov looked every time he stood on the UFC's scales
With all the talk of the potential Khabib Nurmagomedov weight issues for the Conor McGregor fight, we've decided to look at every single one of his UFC weigh-ins.
Dan Hardy's theory about the potential for a Khabib Nurmagomedov weight cut problem at UFC 229 got us thinking. The former UFC welterweight proposed the idea that Conor McGregor may have wanted the grudge match to come together quickly in order to increase the chances of his opponent having a tougher cut.
It's a fantastic thought and in order to get a better sense of the picture, we're going to run through every single one of Nurmagomedov's UFC weigh-ins.
19 January 2012 - UFC on FX 1
The coming out party.
Nurmagomedov took on the Prince of Persia himself, Kamal Shalorus, for his UFC debut. It also marked the Russian's first fight on American soil.
Nurmagomedov's signing was announced in mid-November 2011. So he had over two months to prepare for this fight and make the upper lightweight limit.
The Dagestani looked fresh and content on the scales which read 155 lb on the button. He won via third-round rear-naked choke. He was 23.
6 July 2012 - UFC 148
Nurmagomedov's sophomore UFC fight against Gelison Tibau was announced at the end of March 2012. He had just over three months to prepare and get his weight down.
Again, he was 23 and he weighed in at 155 lbs. He won via unanimous decision.
18 January 2013 - UFC on FX 7
12 days after beating Tibau, Ramadan started. That kept Nurmagomedov out of action for a couple of months. He wouldn't return until the beginning of 2012.
With ample time to prepare, Nurmagomedov hit 155 lbs again for his fight against Thiago Tavares. The fight also marked his Brazillian debut. He won by way of first-round knockout. He was 24 years old.
24 May 2013 - UFC 160
Nurmagomedov's next fight against Abel Trujillo was announced in late February 2013. He had three months to get ready.
Despite this, he came in heavy. He tipped the scales at 158.5 lb, two-and-a-half pounds over the upper lightweight limit. He refused to take the two hours to cut to the extra poundage and instead opted to take the penalty.
As a result, he had to forfeit 20% of his purse to his opponent and the fight was contested at catchweight.
Nurmagomeov was very fired up when he walked off the scales. The Russian marched right over to his adversary and dug his papakha (hat) into Trujillo's forehead before shoving him away. He took a unanimous decision victory. He was 24.
20 September 2013 - UFC 165
On his 25th birthday, Nurmagomedov hit the scales for his fight against Pat Healy. About one week into Ramadan, Nurmgomedov and Healy verbally accepted to fight. Ramadan only finished on August 7, leaving Nurmgomedov little time to get ready.
He needed the towel at the official weigh-ins.
Fortunately for Nurmagomedov, he hit his target of 156 lbs. He was absolutely thrilled.
Nurmagomedov ended up winning the bout by unanimous decision.
18 April 2014 - UFC on Fox 11
Fights against Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz were teased, but neither came to fruition. Nurmagomedov would have to wait until the summer to take on future lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. The fight was announced in February, so he only had one month to ready himself for RDA.
Nurmagomedov weighed in at 155.5 lbs. He won the fight via unanimous decision. He was 25 years of age.
15 April 2016 - UFC on Fox 19
I was in the room in the 3Arena when Dana White announced that Nurmgomedov blew out his knee just hours after signing a contract to fight Donald Cerrone. There was a collective groan from the media members present when the UFC president dropped that bombshell.
Nurmagomedov was supposed to fight Cowboy the following May, but the recurring knee injury ended any hope of that happening. He was booked to fight Tony Ferguson in December, but again, injuries forced him to pull out. So Nurmgomedov didn't appear inside the Octagon once in 2015.
The Ferguson fight was rescheduled for UFC on Fox 19. However, at the second time of asking, it was scrapped. 'El Cucuy' pulled out with fluid and blood in his lungs. Nurmagomedov was subsequently booked to face promotional newcomer Darrel Horcher. The bout was contested at a catchweight 160 lb. Judging by Horcher's interview on the MMA Hour, Nurmagomedov probably requested the extra four pounds of leeway.
"That last five pounds is a big difference. Losing those last five pounds is a stress. When they came to me, it was presented to me at 160."
Nurmgomedov, 27, weighed in at 160.5 lbs. He finished Horcher via second-round TKO.
11 November 2016 - UFC 205
At the end of September 2016, not long after Ramadan, Nurmagomedov was expected to fight Eddie Alvarez for the undisputed lightweight title. However, it transpired that Alvarez missed the deadline to sign the contract and 'The Underground King' secured a Red Panty Night for the promotion's Madison Square Garden debut.
A few days after the announcement, Nurmagomedov booked himself a fight against Michael Johnson on the UFC 205 preliminary card. He had just over a month to prepare for the contest.
For the first time in his UFC career, Nurmagomedov had to weigh in at the earlier time. 'The Eagle' just about came in under the upper limit at 155.8 lbs. He defeated 'the Menace' via third-round kimura. He just turned 28.
3 March 2017 - UFC 209
Nurmagomedov was booked to fight Ferguson for the interim lightweight strap at UFC 209. The third time proved not to be the charm as the Dagestani never made it to the scales.
A botched weight cut forced him out of the co-main event. He was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night and was under doctors' orders was given an IV drip, which under Usada, isn't a permittable method of rehydration. 'The Eagle' was given an exemption for the IV. Nurmagomedov was 28 years old at the time.
Just before the deadline was set to pass, an official came out and addressed the media at the early weigh-ins.
"As per your emails, we did just announce that the Khabib-Ferguson fight has been canceled. Khabib has been released from the hospital, but he's not medically cleared to fight due to weight management issues."
29 December 2017 - UFC 219
Just before Halloween 2017, it was announced that Nurmagomedov would be fighting Edson Barboza at the end-of-year show. He had two months to get in shape for the contest.
Nurmagomedov made a real statement at the early weigh-ins. He was the second fighter to hit the scales. A wry smile washed across his face as he made his way on stage. When he stood on the scales, they read 155.5 lbs. Whatever problems he had earlier that year had clearly been sorted.
He scored a dominant unanimous decision over the Brazilian. At the time of the fight, he was 29.
6 April 2018 - UFC 223
In January 2018, it was announced that they would be trying for a fourth time to book Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson. This time, it was set to be for the undisputed UFC lightweight championship. Of course, it didn't happen. Nurmagomedov hit the scales at 154.5 lbs, not knowing who he would face the following night.
Ferguson blew out his knee on April Fools. His replacement, Max Holloway, was deemed medically unfit to continue his weight cut on the day of the weigh-ins. Anthony Pettis couldn't agree on terms. Paul Felder was ruled out by the commission because he wasn't ranked. So that left Al Iaquinta to step into the main event.
Nurmagomedov won the fight via dominant unanimous decision. The victory saw him become the undisputed lightweight king of the UFC. He was 29 years old.
We'll have to wait and see if Nurmagomedov makes it to the scales on October 5. He's had his problems with injuries and cuttign weight in the past. For sure, he will do everything in his power to be ready for this one.