Zubaira Tukhugov started his professional MMA career in 2010 and has competed for various promotions before joining the UFC in 2014. As a member of team Khabib, he is known for his grappling and has a record of 20 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw in his MMA career.
He rose to fame after his involvement in the notorious UFC 229 brawl, which made headlines all over the world. He was one of the members of Team Khabib who attacked Conor McGregor in the octagon after Khabib’s victory over McGregor. UFC was reading to cut him on the spot but Khabib ended up deadlocking the UFC into keeping him on.
Tukhugov competed against Elves Brener Oliveira at UFC 284 and lost a split decision. None of this would be particularly controversial if Tukhugov hadn’t missed weight again. The 32-year-old came in at 157.5 lbs for his 155 lbs debut angering the brass. This was not the first time he missed weight either.
Zubaira Tukhugov also made headlines when the IV scandal broke out – with an acquaintance of his leaking a DM exchange in which Tukhugov confirms Makhachev used an IV to rehydrate and UFC turned a blind eye to it.
Once the dust settled down, UFC released Tukhugov.
❌ Fighter removed: Zubaira Tukhugov
— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) February 28, 2023
Tukhugov gave an interview days earlier detailing he needed to get a medical issue under control.
“I talked to the manager. Matchmakers called him and said that Zubaira won the fight. They said their opinion. Everyone said that I won the fight. The problem is that I didn’t lose weight. They were very unhappy that I didn’t lose weight. Because it was the third time in a row. I have a health problem. I have to recover and then come back to the octagon. I won’t come back until I recover.”
He also shared what it was like without Khabib in charge saying:
“He’s a leader and he takes some part of the responsibility. Of course, when you and your opponent have already gone through this path, if he’s a legend in MMA, you know that he’s 100% right. You try to do what he tells you to do. A lot depends on the opponent. You need an experienced second-hand. Of course, we lack Khabib, but he can’t leave everything and always run after us.”
“Today I realized how hard it is to corner brothers and friends. It’s better not to corner ”
He also went on to express his discontent at the judges scoring his card:
“I was sure that I would win, because I won. I was judged by the judges, but for some reason the judges didn’t want to give me the fight.”
When asked if the weight miss could’ve negatively impacted him with the judges he responded:
“It could, but it’s not right. I’m giving away 30% of the prize money. UFC should punish me, but not the judges.”