The UFC 254 main event is now official after both fighters made the lightweight limit during the weigh-ins from Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The reigning UFC lightweight champion was the first fighter on the scale as Nurmagomedov stood behind a towel to hit the 155-pound limit.
The undefeated Russian has experienced weight cutting issues in the past, so Nurmagomedov definitely looked relieved once he successfully came in at 155 pounds for the title fight.
Nurmagomedov looks to defend his title for the third consecutive time when he faces Gaethje, which would tie the all-time record in the UFC lightweight division.
As for Gaethje, he followed about 20 minutes after Nurmagomedov, and he also came in at exactly 155 pounds as he attempts to become the undisputed lightweight champion on Saturday. Gaethje won the interim lightweight title with a fifth-round TKO over Tony Ferguson in May.
Gaethje has won his last four fights in a row overall, finishing all of his opponents by knockout or TKO.
While Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje is now official, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler also hit the scale in the UFC for the first time on Friday.
Chandler made 155 pounds on the dot as the alternate for the main event in case either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje are unable to compete on Saturday. Originally, Chandler was offered a fight to compete at UFC 254, serving as the alternate for the main event, but an opponent could not be secured in time.
In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier both came in on weight. The winner of their meeting potentially gets a title shot against Israel Adesanya. Whittaker was at 186 pounds while Cannonier came in at 185 pounds for the highly anticipated middleweight showdown.
While all four fighters in the main and co-main events are official, two preliminary card athletes were overweight on Friday.
Alex Oliveira came in at 173 pounds — two pounds over the limit for a non-title welterweight fight — as he faces Shavkat Rakhmonov. Meanwhile, Joel Alvarez was at 159.5 pounds, which put him three and a half pounds over the lightweight limit for his clash with Alexander Yakovlev. Oliveira was fined 20 percent of his purse money, while Alvarez had to forfeit 30 percent.
“Everything was under control, man,” Oliveira’s coach Andre Tadeu told MMA Fighting. “I don’t know what happened. The human body is complicated. We went to bed and waited until 4 a.m. to cut the rest, but it got stuck. He started to feel ill. We woke up early to run. He ran, came back, got in the sauna, did 10 minutes in a bath tub, but the weight just wouldn’t go down. I was afraid of him getting ill, so I stopped (the weight cut). Everything was under control, but the human body is complicated.”
Here are the full weigh-in results for UFC 254 along with three alternates who also hit the scale on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
Main card (ESPN+ PPV at 2 p.m. ET)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (155)
Robert Whittaker (186) vs. Jared Cannonier (185)
Prelims (ESPN+, ESPN2 at 12 p.m. ET)
Alex Oliveira (173)* vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (171)
Prelims (ESPN+ at 11 a.m. ET)
Joel Alvarez (159.5)** vs. Alexander Yakovlev (155.5)
*Oliveira came in 2 pounds over the welterweight limit
**Alvarez came in 3.5 pounds over the lightweight limit.
Michael Chandler (155)
Sergey Morozov (139.5)
Isi Fitikefu (203.5)