Khabib Nurmagomedov's weigh-in for his clash with Justin Gaethje has been called into question by a leading nutritionist.
The UFC champion was a relieved man yesterday when he scaled the 155lb lightweight limit.
He looked to have struggled with his weight cut ahead of his third title defence against Gaethje on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
And Mike Dolce, who has prepared hundreds of fighters for the cage, believes something was amiss with the scales.
"Something very disturbing happened at the weigh-ins for UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje," he said.
"What happened? When Khabib stepped on the scale, the inspector – either through sheer incompetence or intentionally – made a massive mistake that’s maybe worth tens of millions of dollars.
"Unfortunately, in my expert opinion, I do not believe that Khabib would have made the 155-pound weight class limit on this attempt.
"Now, Khabib was the first man on the scale and would've had time to cut that additional weight if he was physically able, but when you look at his language I will explain… why he wouldn't have been able to do it.”
"(The beam is going in an) upwards trajectory, and it has to balance [but] it’s going up. That means he’s heavy, and (the official) wipes it there as it’s still on its way up. It doesn't bounce and doesn't stabilise in the centre' that’s not correct."
The UFC still uses a manual scale which is not visible to those watching.
But Nurmagomedov's teammate Deron Winn dismissed the allegation.
"FYI the (UFC) makes you step on the scale in a back room before you go for the official weigh in," he said. "You don’t get to step on the official scale unless you’re on weight and especially if you are the first one on the scale."
And Nurmagomedov's coach Javier Mendez has insisted the champion's weight cut was not as bad as some have claimed.
"I can tell you that [on Thursday] after the first weight cut, it was in the morning, he was six pounds off the weight, and he was going to do two cuts – one on Thursday morning and one at night," Mendez told MMA Junkie.
"He felt so good, and he was six pounds off, and he felt strong and said he was going to do the cut the next day. And (by then) he had four-and-a-half, maybe five pounds to go this morning.
"I asked him, 'How was the weight cut?' and he said, 'Easy, coach, like last time' and last time wasn’t that hard. I mean, all weight cuts are hard as you know, but I don’t understand why people are making something of nothing.
"It's stupid. He wasn’t struggling, if you would've watched him right now – he was grappling – you'd say, 'Wow. That guy is strong as hell'."
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