Conor McGregor is not alone in questioning Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in for his final UFC outing.
Several eyebrows were raised by fighters and weight cut experts after Khabib Nurmagomedov hit the scales for his lightweight title defence against Justin Gaethje last October.
The manner in which the scales were checked, coupled with the reaction of Nurmagomedov, led to speculation that the process had been manipulated to ensure that the main event of UFC 254 went off without a hitch and Conor McGregor certainly spotted something suspicious at the weigh-in.
— ESPN (@espn) October 23, 2020
Speaking ahead of his upcoming return to the Octagon, McGregor revealed his doubts about Nurmagomedov’s weight for the Gaethje fight and criticised his rival’s decision to retire after the bout, which ended in a second-round submission win for ‘The Eagle’.
“He’s looking like a little, fat elephant at the minute,” McGregor said of Nurmagomedov during an interview with The Mac Life. “He’s enjoying himself.
“I don’t think he made weight the last time out here, to be honest. I was very sceptical seeing him on the scales – very, very unusual behaviour. But it is what it is.
“How you could walk away at this stage is baffling to me but each to their own.
“There are so many amazing fights out there. Even the carry-on around the Tony (Ferguson) situation. I don’t care about anything. You are scheduled to fight a man. No matter what, the fights must take place.
“You can’t just scurry away from bouts and that’s been the hallmark of his approach. I was not surprised to see him walk away or scurry away, I should say.”
McGregor has made no secret of his desire to secure a rematch with Nurmagomedov after the pair shared the Octagon in a 2018 title fight overflowing with bad blood.
Nurmagomedov will be present in Abu Dhabi at the same time as McGregor, with the undefeated Russian set to hold talks with UFC President Dana White regarding a potential U-turn on his retirement.
Despite Nurmagomedov’s insistence that his fighting days are done, he remains the official UFC lightweight champion and no belt will be on the line when McGregor returns against Dustin Poirier on January 23.
“I feel it should be (on the line),” McGregor said. “But I don’t think Dana is going to be bouncing in to throw me a belt straight away after the way the year went. I understand that.
“What are the belts? I’m here to compete, get some good competition and the belts will come.
“I think maybe the next bout would be fair. I would have liked to had it for this fight but there were circumstances surrounding a man scurrying away to an extent. They’ve given him a bit of time.
“We’ll see what happens. It makes no odds to me. I’m not going to get caught up in the politics of this business because I’ve done that in the past and it’s hampered me.”