UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had to undress but dropped to 155 pounds to make his title bout with Justin Gaethje official on Saturday at UFC 254.
The undefeated champion was first on the scales in Abu Dhabi and hit his target, but with the help of a towel.
The relief was evident when the Russian held his face in his hands after seeing he had put on weight before posing in front of the cameras and stepping off the scales.
The Dagestani grappling phenomenon has had weight loss issues in the past and was hospitalized prior to his scheduled fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 in 2017.
Gaethje followed Khabib on the scales in Abu Dhabi and looked far more relaxed when the American reached the finish with minimal effort and officially started the octagon showdown on Yas Island on Saturday.
Khabib then put on his typical papakha headgear for a final duel with Gaethje, which, in keeping with the gracious preparation of the fight, went without incident.
Elsewhere on the map, Alex Oliveira came in at two pounds for his welterweight contest with Shavkat Rakhmonov and will lose some of his fight money to keep the fight going.
The Spaniard Joel Alvarez lost 3.5 pounds in his light preliminary round competition with Alexander Yakovlev and will also give up part of his wallet.
All other fighters have left their mark – including new UFC representative Michael Chandler, who weighed 155 pounds and is a backup should either Khabib or Gaethje be banned from Saturday’s match, which now seems unlikely.
Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier made their middleweight bout official the co-main event, with Whittaker tipping the scales at 186 pounds and Cannonier weighing 185 pounds.
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