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Did Khabib really make weight for UFC 254? Footage calls into question whether champ hit 155-pound mark

An unusually quick read of the scales by an official has fight fans speculating that Khabib Nurmagomedov may have been above 155 pounds for his Lightweight championship fight against Justin Gaethje.

The UFC 254 weigh-ins went down from “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi late last night and all the main / co-main fighters made weight ... or did they? Many people watching noticed how exhausted and stressed UFC Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, looked stepping onto the scale. The Dagestani wrestler needed to strip naked behind a towel to hit the hard limit of 155 and looked visibly relieved when officials declared him on point at 155 pounds.

But, closer watching of the weigh-in has the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene buzzing, because it looks like there irregularities in how the official read the weight. Watch the official video from ESPN MMA:

So here’s what to look for: as Khabib is preparing to step onto the scale, you can see the scale weight is set to 155. That means when he steps on, the grey bar should balance. If Khabib weighs more than 155, the grey bar will float up and touch the black bar above it. Lower than the contracted weight, and it will float downward.

The video shows the bar begin to rise before the official slams back the counterweight and declares Khabib at 155 pounds. The bar never got a chance to settle into a floating middle position.

Hmmmm ....

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran and nutritionist / weight cutting expert Mike Dolce weighed in on his YouTube channel, where you can see Zapruder footage of the scale going up, up, up:

“Watch Gaethje, watch the difference in how he weighs in Gaethje,” Dolce says. “Watch the scale again, watch how it tips. It hits the top, comes back down, and [the official] pauses and then wipes it. Look at how long it takes him to decide. Comes back down, stabilizes in the middle. He even pauses still and then he wipes it and calls it. Now watch Khabib, here we go, up up up, wipes it on an upward trajectory. He’s heavy here!”

“Guys, this is incorrect. That is wrong,” Dolce concluded. “An error. Let’s call it a human error. Nonetheless, most likely in this moment, Khabib Nurmagomedov was not 155 pounds. He was not scratch weight. Now would he have made the weight? Sure. Let’s say he would. I’m a Khabib fan, I want this fight to happen and I don’t think Gaethje cares at all. But, at the same time, this was wrong. This was wrong, this was an error!”

What do you think, Maniacs? will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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