It isn’t normally a story of its own when a fighter makes weight for a high-profile MMA contest, but that was the case when top-ranked (but oft-injured) UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to step on the scales at today’s UFC 219 early weigh-ins.
Scheduled to face top striker Edson Barboza in the co-main event of tomorrow’s (Sat., December 30, 2017) UFC 219 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, ‘The Eagle’ had a lot to prove after his interim title bout with Tony Ferguson was pulled off March’s UFC 209 after he failed to make weight and had to be hospitalized the day of weigh-ins.
With his career on the line, the Dagestani grappling phenom delivered today, however, coming in and making weight by weighing 155.5 pounds for his bout with Barboza. It was a refreshing sigh of relief for the collective MMA community, as the ultra-talented Nurmagomedov has seemed poised to become a UFC champion for years while frequent injuries have limited him to only two fights since April 2014.
A win over Barboza won’t get him there, and with the lightweight picture looking far more muddied than any other landscape due to Conor McGregor’s inactivity, it’s hard to say where he’ll go next even if victorious. However, at least fans know he can make weight and show up to a big fight, the first step in ‘The Eagle’ realizing the full potential that’s been heaped upon him since early in his UFC career.
Will he ever fight Conor McGregor? In today’s unpredictable UFC climate, let’s at least hope he eventually faces off with Tony Ferguson.