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Is Khabib Nurmagomedov's speedy scale at UFC 254 the latest UFC weigh-in controversy? – MMA Fighting

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At the UFC 254 official weigh-ins, Khabib Nurmagomedov looked nervous.

He was the first man up Friday morning, but the UFC’s lightweight king took his time stepping to the scale, appearing to be slightly agitated as he called for a towel to cover him so that he could remove the excess poundage of his clothes. He delicately stepped up and then brought his hands to his face in relief as he got the all-clear signal for Saturday’s main event.

155. Championship weight. Nothing to be nervous about.

Or was there???

Keen internet sleuths have pointed out that the official checking the weight was quick to dismiss Nurmagomedov from the scale even as it appeared that the scale’s bar appeared to be tilting upward, indicating that something may have been amiss. It should be noted that Nurmagomedov was not the only fighter to have his weight measured with such speed.

Officially, Nurmagomedov made the mark for Saturday’s title fight main event opposite Justin Gaethje, but that didn’t stop the online discussion from brewing, which included a few of his peers who commented on the suspected miss, protocol, and Nurmagomedov’s overall demeanor.

While we wait to see if anyone from Gaethje’s team raises their concerns over the matter, we’ll leave it to you the reader to decide whether there was something fishy going on with Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in.

Poll

What do you think of the Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 254 weigh-in controversy?

  • 40%

    He made weight

    (1790 votes)

  • 59%

    He had help

    (2582 votes)



4372 votes total

Vote Now

Nurmagomedov’s tense turn on the scale brought to mind past UFC weigh-in controversies, a couple of which also had championship stakes. Let’s take a look back and see how some of the UFC’s biggest names may have previously gamed the system.


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Probably the first example that comes to mind when weigh-in controversies are discussed, Daniel Cormier fooled everyone ahead of UFC 210 with a last-second weight cut that was truly mystifying.

Heading into his second fight against Anthony Johnson, Cormier initially came in heavy for his light heavyweight championship defense by 1.2 pounds. The repercussions of missing weight in this situation would be devastating for Cormier who likely would have been ineligible to retain his title even with a win. He was given the opportunity to weigh in again and no more than three minutes later, he returned to the scale and made weight.

Incredible, right?

Of course, in the footage above, Cormier can clearly be seen holding onto the towel the scale is being checked, an old school wrestling trick that allows a competitor to shift their weight just enough to pass the test. I’d estimate that about 1.2 pounds were shifted, give or take.

Afterwards, Cormier had this to say:

“It was crazy, I weighed in upstairs and I was like ‘Man I’m OK, I’m going to do this. It was harder than normally, but we figured we had it done, the scale was weighing different.”

He added that he was simply holding onto the towel to keep from being exposed and he denied making any kind of attempt to manipulate the scale. The following night, Cormier recorded his second consecutive defense of the UFC light heavyweight title, defeating Johnson by second-round submission.

While we’re talking towel tricks, honorable mention to Hakeem Dawodu who appeared to use a similar move at UFC 240 to make weight for a featherweight bout with Yoshinori Horie.

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There are layers to this one.

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and lineal Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz was already a proverbial oil and water pairing before they finally arrived in Montreal for UFC 158. St-Pierre, the genial and ever-professional French-Canadian, had little in common with the brash, sun-baked, Stockton street style of Diaz.

The two were previously matched up at UFC 137, but Carlos Condit took Diaz’s spot when Dana White decided to punish the mercurial Diaz for neglecting his media obligations (St-Pierre would later face Condit at UFC 154). Still, there was no stopping this highly-anticipated duel from happening and they eventually met in March 2013, with St-Pierre sweeping the scorecards to successfully defend his UFC title for an eighth straight time.

Their beef didn’t end there. Shortly afterwards, controversy arose when it was suggested that St-Pierre was actually a few ounces over the championship limit of 170 pounds. According to the Quebec commission, it is a rule that they ignore decimals when calculating weights.

Here is how then-UFC vice president Michael Mersch explained the situation to Diaz’s team:

“Here, they’re going to allow you and Georges to have an extra hour. Just in case somebody doesn’t make it. But the good news is, they don’t count the decimal. If you’re 170.2 it’s 170. If it’s 170.9. it’s 170.”

That explanation apparently didn’t sit well with Diaz, who told Chael Sonnen in a 2015 interview that he believes St-Pierre actually came in three pounds heavy and that St-Pierre was on steroids for their fight.

Years later, St-Pierre would shockingly admit to all of the above as well as poisoning Diaz and receiving alien gamma ray treatments to enhance his strength for the championship clash.

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It’s no secret that Kelvin Gastelum had struggled making the welterweight limit in the past, but after returning to middleweight pounds in 2016 it appeared that the Ultimate Fighter 17 champion had straightened out his issues at the scale.

However, those old problems reared their ugly head again at the weigh-ins for UFC 244. With an important co-main event fight against Darren Till ahead of him, Gastelum couldn’t take any chances and he called for the towel before weighing in. His trusty coach Rafael Cordeiro was by his side to provide moral support and lo and behold, Gastelum not only made weight, he came in at 184, two pounds under the non-title middleweight limit.

Kelvin Gastelum at the official weigh-ins for UFC 244 in New York on Nov. 1, 2019
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Upon closer inspection, it seems that Cordeiro may have been their for more than just moral support. Gastelum and Cordeiro were later accused of cheating the weigh-in, with observers pointing out that Gastelum appeared to be gingerly resting his elbow on his coach’s shoulder.

The New York State Athletic Commission found no evidence of wrongdoing and Cordeiro was incredulous at the accusations of mischief.

“People are tripping,” Cordeiro said. “I went there to check his weight. How am I going to lift him two pounds with my chest? They are crazy. They are tripping. It’s drama to sell the fight. There’s no way. There’s no way.

“There were two athletic commission officials there, I was in front of the whole world… That’s impossible. It doesn’t even cross my mind to try to break the law. The kid made weight, two pounds under. He did his job. He was the last one, he was sweating, running like a maniac, working hard, and got the job done. Everyone has a mouth and can say whatever they want.”

On fight night, Till won a close split decision over Gastelum, so things worked out for Till even if the bout was possibly made official through nefarious means.

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Brawn: Understanding 'dynamics' of Grosjean crash key to improvements – F1i.com

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F1 boss Ross Brawn says the FIA must work with Haas to understand the “dynamics” of Romain Grosjean’s crash in Bahrain to seek potential improvements to the sport’s safety.

Grosjean darted off course after a contact with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, but while the Armco should have absorbed part of the Haas’ energy, the Frenchman’s car was severed upon impact, with its survivor cell splitting the barrier open and igniting a massive blaze.

Brawn admitted to being stunned by the effects of the impact.

“It was a huge shock, as fire is something I’ve not seen in F1 for a very long time,” Brawn commented in his post-race debrief on the official F1 website.

“I was immediately thinking, what could have caused it as the fuel tank is so well protected?

“Obviously there’s oil in the car and there’s other fluids, but it was strange when I saw the fire.

“It wasn’t until I saw the severity of the accident you could understand why the fuel had escaped. So the first shock was just seeing the fire.

“Then when you see the seriousness of the accident, your first thoughts are with the driver. You immediately worry about the health of the driver.

“Seeing Romain jump out of the car was a massive relief,” added the Briton.

“Our producers didn’t put the footage out until they knew Romain was safe, which is our protocol.

“I think everyone is proud of the safety measures which have been developed over the last few years. The halo played a huge part.”

Speaking after Sunday’s incident, Brawn said a “deep investigation” would take place to analyse the circumstances and consequences of Grosjean’s crash.

“The FIA, working with the team, have to understand the dynamics of what happened in the accident to see if improvements are possible,” Brawn said on Monday.

“It was a pretty severe impact and there are limits as to what you’d be able to contain or control.

“But penetrating the barrier like that has to be understood. It also has to be understood why there was a fire and why the car broke in two.

“These are the things that the FIA will now take the time to analyse and work out what can be done better.

“Hats off to everyone involved, because the driver walked away from a huge accident. And the FIA did a super job getting everything back in shape so that we could run the race in as safe a way as possible.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter

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DK Metcalf, Seahawks gash Eagles in Monday Night Football win – Sportsnet.ca

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PHILADELPHIA —DK Metcalf got extra motivation he didn’t even need.

Metcalf caught 10 passes for 177 yards, Russell Wilson threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-17 on Monday night.

Before the game, Metcalf said Eagles defensive co-ordinator Jim Schwartz, who coached Calvin Johnson in Detroit, compared him to the former Lions star.

“I’m getting a little respect, but you know I still got work to do. One of the defensive coaches came up to me and it kind of made me mad that he was like, `You know, I was in Detroit with Megatron but you’re not there yet,”’ Metcalf said. “In my mind, I’m not trying to be Megatron. I’m trying to be me. So I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”

The Seahawks (8-3) moved one game ahead of the Rams in the NFC West. The Eagles (3-7-1) fell a half-game behind the Giants and Washington in the woeful NFC East.

Carson Wentz didn’t cede many snaps to backup Jalen Hurts but had another rough game. He was 25 of 45 for 215 yards, two TDs _ one in garbage time _ and one interception.

Seattle’s defence entered the game allowing the most yards in the NFL and most yards passing but held Philadelphia’s inept offence to 250 yards.

Metcalf was on the board when the Eagles took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round with the 57th pick in 2019. Arcega-Whiteside has 12 career catches and was a healthy inactive before landing on the COVID-19 list. Metcalf, who was the final pick of the second round, had the best game of his rookie year in Seattle’s playoff win at Philadelphia last season and again showed why he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Metcalf’s 52-yard catch on third-and-13 set up Wilson’s 1-yard TD pass to David Moore that gave the Seahawks a 7-0 lead.

“It’s kind of like coming home, a place that had a chance to draft me but they didn’t so I’ve got to make them pay,” Metcalf said.

Cornerback Darius Slay, who followed Metcalf in coverage, called it the worst game of his career.

“I lost every 50-50 ball. I let the team down. I gotta play better,” Slay said.

Chris Carson made it 14-0 when he bullied his way through Philadelphia’s defence on a 16-yard run.

“You know me, I saw that end zone so my game is physical so I wanted to get it in,” Carson said.

The Eagles didn’t get a first down until Wentz ran for 20 yards with under five minutes left in the first half. Wentz scrambled for 13 yards on third-and-5 to keep the drive going and tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert to cut it to 14-6 at halftime. Jake Elliott missed the extra point wide left.

Elliott’s 42-yard field goal cut it to 14-9 in the third quarter. Jason Myers hit one from 44 yards to extend it to 17-9.

After a holding call on Cedric Ogbuehi negated a 17-yard TD run by Carlos Hyde, Myers connected from 33 yards. He hit another one from 39.

Richard Rodgers caught a tipped ball on a desperation heave by Wentz for a 33-yard TD in the final minute.

Trailing by 11, Eagles coach Doug Pederson passed up a field goal and went for it on fourth-and-4 from the Seahawks 15. Wentz’s pass went straight to Seattle’s Quandre Diggs as Goedert turned the other way on the route.

The Eagles got a huge stop on Seattle’s opening series. After a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties helped the Seahawks reach the 3, Derek Barnett stuffed Moore for a 5-yard loss on fourth down from the 2.

Barnett sacked Wilson on fourth-and-2 from Philadelphia’s 37 on Seattle’s second drive.

OWNING PHILLY

Wilson is 6-0 against the Eagles and the Seahawks have won seven in a row in the series.

NO QB ROTATION

Hurts took the snap on two plays. He completed a 6-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery on one and handed off on the other. Wentz was split wide on the running play and on the sideline for the pass.

GOING BACKWARD

The Eagles had minus-4 yards in the first quarter, matching their worst first quarter in the past 30 seasons (also minus-4 vs Minnesota on Oct. 7, 2018). The last team to have negative yards in the first quarter was Chicago with minus-1 against Philadelphia on Nov. 3, 2019.

The Eagles went three-and-out on their first five drives.

INJURY REPORT

Both teams were missing their starting right tackle.

Seattle’s Brandon Shell was inactive because of an ankle injury. Ogbuehi took his spot.

Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson is sidelined for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Matt Pryor started in his place.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: Host the New York Giants (4-7) on Sunday.

Eagles: Visit the Green Bay Packers (8-3) on Sunday.

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Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday.

The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.

“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.

“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.

The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.

Hamilton bumps fists with Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, after receiving a trophy on the podium for winning the race Sunday in Bahrain. He appeared drained at the end of the race. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” he said soon after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ championship with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at 201 points and Max Verstappen at 189.

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.

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