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Khabib Nurmagomedov says he’ll consider featherweight drop after UFC 219

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Khabib Nurmagomedov might be headed to the 145-pound division after facing Edson Barboza in a pivotal lightweight clash at UFC 219 on Saturday night.

MMA: UFC 205-Nurmagomedov vs Johnson Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Khabib Nurmagomedov has had issues making the lightweight limit in the past, but from the sounds of it, he might be headed down to the featherweight division in the foreseeable future.

Nurmagomedov, who faces Edson Barboza in the UFC 219 co-main event this Saturday, said in a UFC pre-fight interview with Megan Olivi that he may consider cutting an extra 10 pounds for his next fight after Barboza.

“I feel great. My weight is very good,” Nurmagomedov said. “To be honest, I am thinking about next fight maybe I am going to 145. We are thinking about this. I am focused on Barboza, but we’ll see — maybe 145. We gonna see, with my team, we gonna see first how I feel Friday morning. We’ll see. We’re gonna make weight.

“Maybe I’m gonna take 155 belt and then fight for the belt — champion vs. champion, 145. I think I can make this weight — 145 — too.”

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 209 this past March, but the Russian contender was forced out of the long-awaited contest due to weight-cutting issues the day before the event. Khabib has not fought since his stoppage win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205 over a year ago.

Numagomedov said he has fixed many of the problems he has had with his weight cuts in the past. Now working with rising nutritionist Tyler Minton, the undefeated fighter considers a drop to 145 pounds a viable option because of the recent changes he’s made.

“This time, everything is different,” Nurmagomedov, nicknamed “The Eagle,” said. “I changed a lot of things. Eat like champion, train like champion, sleep like champion — everything. And I think this is about maturing, everything about how you stay focused. I’m very excited about this fight, about this weigh-in — we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to talk too much about weight classes; Saturday we’re gonna make a plan.”

UFC 219 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event, women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg defends her title for the first time against former bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm.