Khamzat Chimaev surprised the UFC public after the weigh-in. He was supposed to fight Nate Diaz, but the fight didn't happen because Chimaev missed weight by over seven pounds. His coach, Andreas Michael, explained the reasons in an interview with MMA Hour; “His whole career he’s been fighting at welterweight,” Michael said, as quoted by mmafighting.com “He’s missed weight this time, but it’s not as if he’s been missing weight all the time.
Of course, he’s been having a hard time making weight, but he’s always made weight. The point of the thing is that we’re going to make it easier and fight at middleweight some of the fights, but we’re game for welterweight as well.
“We’re not going to lose our ranking there, hopefully, because we’re so close to a title fight there. Once we take the belt there, we’re going to pursue the middleweight division with all our hearts.
Right now, some fights are going to be at middleweight, some are going to be at middleweight, worthwhile fights. But that’s up to the UFC, of course, that’s not up to us”.
What they lacked was enough time.
It seems like everything was too fast and they couldn't be ready enough “We started this camp heavy,” Michael continued. “That’s what the problem was as well. We got an offer to fight Nate Diaz, and it was earlier than this in August.
It was too soon because he was heavy. Then they moved it 10 days up, and I believe we just started too heavy this camp. We should have had a little more discipline and held our weight to a reasonable level, to a reasonable weight close to the one that he’s training at and going into camp.
That’s basically about it. “We can find a lot of reasons and excuses and all this. At the end of the day — I’m not slagging off Khamzat, he’s a magnificent fighter and I love him to death — but what I’m saying is that it was absolutely unprofessional from our side not to make weight.
Anyone who doesn’t make weight is unprofessional, absolutely. I want to [apologize] to Nate’s camp for that. We should have both made weight, and there are no excuses”. His coach emphasized that COVID had a big impact on Chimaev.
“He was getting muscle spasms, shaking,” Michael said. “Vomiting. When he stood up he was passing out. I was worried about him”. “Ever since he got coronavirus and all these health issues, he’s had a little bit of a hard time making the weight,” Michael later added.
“Ever since that issue, his body has been a little bit off when it comes down to pushing it to the last drop. But I’m just speculating. Like I said, I’m not a physician, I’m not a doctor or anything like that, and I don’t claim to be one”.