Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced out of his supposed interim lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 last Saturday due to health issues. But according to UFC president Dana White, such an incident could have been prevented if Khabib’s team approached UFC doctors, instead of taking matters into their own hands.
“What would’ve been different was if he would’ve called Dr. (Jeff) Davidson or Brianna (Mattison), the two who handle the medical stuff for the UFC,” White said during the UFC 209 press conference. “Apparently, he was treated horribly at Sunrise Hospital. That’s no shock.”
Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz admits that he indeed should have called the UFC doctors instead of going straight to Sunrise Hospital. During Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Abdelaziz also concurred with White’s previous statement about Khabib being poorly treated at the said facility.
“I know Dana came out and said I should have called the UFC doctor, or called (UFC medical claims official) Briana [Mattison], but I never did this before,” Abdelaziz said (transcription via MMA Fighting). “And you know what? Dana is right. I wish I called Dr. Davidson, because we went to the Sunrise Hospital, and were there for almost seven hours. And they treated us so poorly. And now, I got a little offended when Dana was talking, but he’s right.”
“If we called the UFC doctor — that I never had before, I didn’t know I was supposed to call him — we would have gotten probably treated like kings.”
Nothing was ever made public about what specifically troubled Khabib’s health that led to him pulling out last minute. Abdelaziz, however, pointed to likely liver problems due to dehydration as the cause.
“Two days before the fight he had a little flu, but he took his vitamin C, and he was feeling alright. It was something very minor, and he didn’t even need to go to a doctor. Vitamin C, rest and sleeping. When you cut weight your immune system goes down.”
“The weight cut, I’m telling you, it was the same as every time, and every time he makes weight,” Abdelaziz said. ‘The last time he fought Michael Johnson, he makes weight. But I think this time, something different. The pain was coming from his liver, but I think the dehydration for sure, and I think it was part of the process.”
On Monday, Khabib revealed through an Instagram post that his health is now back to normal. No clear timetable has been set for his return.