Khabib Nurmagomedov has competed at lightweight for the entirety of his career. Unlike many of his opponents he seemed content to stick to this one division in particular. Despite that Nurmagomedov frequently struggled cutting weight – and even backed out of a bout due to weight cut issues. Not to mention he’s rumored to have been over the 155lbs mark in his retirment bout – which had rushed weigh ins.
This is why it’s especially jarring to hear Nurmagomedov and his protégé Islam Makhachev slamming Charles Oliveira – for his skill, and his professionalism.
“We don’t have a champion now because Charles Oliveira missed weight and it’s unprofessional. You have to show people that you’re professional when you are a champion. “
“I think they have to make me versus Charles, 10 win streak versus 11 win streak. It’s a very big fight,” Makhachev told ESPN.
Of course Makhachev didn’t share his thoughts on the infamous ‘tiramisu’ gate and Khabib. Meanwhile another AKA teammate shared insight regarding the current weight of Nurmagomedov.
Luke Rockhold, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s partner, joked that Khabib had gained 50 pounds since retiring in 2020. He also remarked that Nurmagomedov may be bigger than Paulo Costa, who last weighed in at light-heavyweight.
After being unbeaten in 29 professional bouts at 155 pounds, including many years with the UFC belt, Khabib retired. Nurmagomedov has transitioned from fighting to promoting and teaching. He will join Rockhold in training for his comeback to the Octagon later this year.
However, Rockhold, a former middleweight champion, feels Khabib may be weighing more than Rockhold’s forthcoming opponent Paolo Costa, who last fought at light-heavyweight.
In a pre-fight interview, the American joked that Nurmagomedov may be much heavier than his fighting peak.
While speaking with The Schmo, Rockhold discussed his next training camp and working with Nurmagomedov. For years, the two have trained together at the American Kickboxing Academy. The two also practise with former two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier.
“The world is my oyster, I’m a f***ing gypsy,” Rockhold remarked.
“And I love it here, I love it here with the boys. My boy Chito [Marlon Vera] over there, he’s got some little triceps working. And you know [Jason] Parillo, and all the boys.”
“But I’m mixing up. I’ve got to get my wrestling in and so I’m going to go and work with Khabib this week, maybe Florida.”
“I’ve got to go with the winds, go with the tide… He might be weighing more than Paulo Costa. He’s perfect, if I can wrestle him, easy easy work with Paulo.”
Nurmagomedov has put on a few pounds since his fighting days, when he fought to stay under the 155-pound weight restriction. Given his stature, he is likely to be much less than 205 pounds. Nurmagomedov infamously addressed weight gain when he was teased by Makhachev’s opponent Bobby Green about it.
“He come to me, he come too close and said, ‘Hey, you was lightweight?’” Nurmagomedov told ESPN after the fight. “Something like this.
“Of course, now I’m big because I’m now like almost two years I’m finished with fights, you know. And I try to enjoy. I try to enjoy.
“But every day I train, I spend time with the guys, why do I have to be a lightweight? I’m finished.”
Later on Makhachev went on to add that he believes if Khabib were to return, he would now have to be a welterweight.
“Now, I cannot practice [with him], maybe, you can.”
“Now, you are in the same weight division [welterweight], but you have to care about it.”
“Maybe, he’s going to come back and he is not gonna be at 155, he fights at 170 for sure.”
When Rockhold returns to the Octagon after a three-year layoff after his devastating defeat by Jan Balchowicz, he will face Brazilian thick boy Paulo Costa. Their bout is set for July 30. However, Costa has been pushing to have it moved for August.