More details have emerged surrounding Khabib Nurmagomedov’s hospitalization and subsequent cancellation of his UFC 209 fight against Tony Ferguson.
During an appearance on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz gave a timeline of the events that Friday morning.
“Normally we’re supposed to get back at 6 o’clock in the morning and cut weight, but at 3:45 in the morning I went to [Nurmagomedov’s] room – and my room was right next to his room – and he was in so much pain,” Abdel-Aziz said. “And after that, I panicked. Because this is not just somebody I manage, this is my little brother. I have a different relationship with all the guys I manage because if I can’t be your friend or we can’t be like brothers, we can’t work together.”
Abdel-Aziz said that he debated calling 911, but instead decided to transport his fighter to the hospital himself. “I thought about calling 911,” he said. “But I thought, listen, we can pick him up. When we picked him up, the whole group, he couldn’t even walk. We put him in my car and drove straight to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, I tried to get a hold of the UFC.”
Considering the early morning time frame, and his inexperience with the circumstances, Abdel-Aziz agreed with Dana White’s criticism that he should have called UFC doctors and perhaps the fight could have been saved.
“I know Dana came out and said I should have called the UFC doctor, or called Briana [Mattison], but I never did this before,” he said. “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.”
Abdel-Aziz maintained that his sole focus was the health of his fighter, which took precedence over saving a potential title fight. He didn’t know what UFC has planned for Nurmagomedov next but did state that May could be a possibility for a fight provided it is before Ramadan begins at the end of the month. But most importantly, he said his fighter has to be healthy. “I don’t know if Khabib will be ready because at the end of the day his health and well-being are worth a lot to me than making money. Money comes in last.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It sounds like it worked out for the best that Nurmagomedov’s manager didn’t follow the proper protocol because it doesn’t look like Khabib was in any condition to fight. If UFC had found a way to salvage the fight after treating him themselves, and Nurmagomedov sure would have been open to still fighting, he could have risked long term damage or injury by fighting shortly after being in such a dehydrated state. The timing is rough as he isn’t going to fight during or shortly after Ramadan, which runs from late May to late June, so it may not be until late summer at the earliest until we see Nurmagomedov fight again.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Regarding his new UFC contract, Georges St. Pierre told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” that he made a deal with UFC that made both sides “unhappy.” He said it was less money than they were originally looking for, but more than what UFC was willing to pay.
-The Godofredo Pepey vs. Kyle Bochniak fight scheduled for this Saturday’s UFC event from Fortaleza, Brazil has been canceled due to injuries to both fighters.
-Invicta FC has signed recently cut UFC bantamweight fighters Kelly Faszholz and Milana Dudieva. (SOURCE)
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/6: Khabib Nurmagomedov apologizes for not making UFC 209 co-main event via Instagram (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)