Khabib Nurmagomedov names two fighters he avoided damaging permanently
Former UFC lightweight champ and top-ranked pound-for-pound star, Khabib Nurmagedov (29-0) has revealed that he dealt with great care while submitting two fighters or else they could have faced serious injury issues.
“First, I went for [Justin Gaethje’s] arm, and only then I moved on to the triangle choke. I realized, he would not give up and I didn’t want to cripple his hand. So I went for the triangle choke,” the Eagle described while appearing at a press conference at his promotion Eagle Fight Club. The UFC veteran explained why he had a soft corner for Gaethje despite having his title and unbeaten streak on the line. This was the last time the Gaethje was seen in a UFC octagon.
“His parents were there in attendance, his father, his mother…in the front row. Footage doesn’t show it but when I entered the cage I could see them sitting there and looking at me.”
Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport while speaking to Joe Rogan in the octagon interview minutes after he added another win to this tally. Speaking about his showdown against Michael Johnson in 2016, the Eagle said he could have broken Johnson’s arm had he not been careful while locking him in a deep kimura.
“I told [Johnson] to give up two or three times. I was executing the move very carefully because if you break an arm that way it will never be the same. So I was very careful, rolling it very slowly and just asked him to give it up,” the ex-UFC champ concluded.