Khabib Nurmagomedov has fought some of the toughest battles of his career inside the locker room, as the former UFC lightweight champion has always struggled to make the cut to 155 pounds.
Khabib was once hospitalized prior to his lightweight bout with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209, which saw ‘The Eagle’ forced to withdraw from the contest after almost dying backstage at the T-Mobile Arena.
“The doctor say, ‘you cannot fight. You almost die. How you fight? How you can fight if you almost die? … No way. We say no fight, 100 percent. No make weight. No fight. No nothing. You need to stay in the hospital for seven hours, we have to make sure your body is good.’ But I feel I almost died,” Nurmagomedov said.
Nurmagomedov has now shared an inside look at his final preparation for UFC 254 and, if the video footage is anything to go by, the undefeated Dagestani was very close to pulling out of the fight at the final minute.
Nurmagomedov can be seen slumping to the ground in exhaustion and being rolled onto his side and back to his feet by his coaches.
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) December 11, 2020
Despite enduring his most brutal training camp to date, Khabib went on to submit Justin Gaethje in the second round to retain his lightweight title and extend his professional record to a perfect 29-0. Following the fight, Nurmagomedov retired.
The pound-for-pound No. 1 plans to build his own MMA promotion, Eagle Fighting Championships (EFC), in retirement and bring MMA to the Olympics by 2028.
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