Khabib Nurmagomedov has finally opened up about his hospitalization last month due to weight-cutting complications for his bout with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209.
The Russian mixed martial artist has been mostly quiet about the incident, in which he failed to make weight and was transported to the hospital only hours before the weigh-ins on the Friday morning before the event. This resulted in a third cancellation of a Nurmagomedov-Ferguson fight.
Nurmagomedov talked about the situation on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” saying that what became “the hardest month in my life” began on the Thursday of fight week.
“In the evening, I feel badly. I feel different. I never feel like this,” he said. “One day before weigh-in, of course I don’t feel good all the time, but I think this is like something different. And when I go home the night before weigh-ins, I feel crazy. I’m cutting weight with my team, and I don’t remember how I cut weight. I don’t remember a lot of things, something going wrong.
“I feel so bad. I never feel like this.”
The undefeated fighter added that his team rushed him to the hospital in the middle of the night after experiencing stomach pain that made him feel like he was going to die. Doctors quickly barred him from having the fight and said he almost died trying to cut weight.
Nurmagomedov noted that his decision to drop out was influenced by the history of MMA competitors dying from weight cutting.
“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,” he explained.
“We know a lot of times when you’re cutting weight, you can die. I know one month ago somebody died in Brazil. Before, somebody died in Japan. We know sometimes this happens. But this can happen with me too. If we still cutting weight, and we still force my body, maybe I can die too?
“But it’s okay. Sometimes when I have injury or when I have bad situation, I all the time come back strong. Now, I know a lot of people asked about this, a lot of fans asked about this because this is a very big fight. The UFC promote this fight very good. We promote this fight. A lot of people are waiting for this fight. I know a lot of fans are upset about this, and I understand this, but I want to say sorry about everything. And I come back. I’m going to come back.”
The 28-year-old, who has yet to get back to training since the incident, said that he recently underwent testing in Germany to figure out what caused the stomach problems and plans to go back soon to undergo treatment and “fix” his body.
“The Eagle” also plans on getting back into the Octagon around the end of September, and he noted that he intends to keep fighting at 155 pounds and doesn’t plan on moving up to 170 pounds anytime soon.
Nurmagomedov took time to apologize to Ferguson and his fans for what happened, promising to come back strong once he is at 100 percent.
“I want to say thank you to him,” he said. “I know sometimes he goes crazy when somebody pulls out, but I understand. I understand everything. I am professional fighter and I have to make weight and this is my job, but sometimes you cannot control your body, and you do everything. This is my fault. I know, 100 percent, this my fault. But we will see what happens next time. I’m going to come back. This is not finished. This is not finished, my career. I’m going to fix my body and come back.”