Khabib Nurmagomedov refused to break Justin Gaethe's arm at UFC 254


Khabib Nurmagomedov is an anomaly.

It is very rare that a fighter retires on the top of his game, and perhaps most importantly, full of health, like the Dagestani fighter did. He left an unblemished and astounding legacy behind him; number one in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings and a perfect 29-0 record.

In the months following his final fight and victory last October at UFC 254 against Justin Gaethje, he has certainly found time to pursue his own interests.

He set up his own MMA promotion in Eagle Fight Club. It is here that Khabib plans to develop the career of young fighters, some of whom are friends and family of “The Eagle” himself.

Last week, during a presser for the EFC, Khabib sat down to discuss his sublime days inside the Octagon, and rather interestingly, how he purposely prevented any serious damage occurring to certain opponents of his.


This happened during his fight with Michael Johnson and his aforementioned retirement bout against Gaethje.

He spoke in-depth and in a very detailed manner about the respective situations and potential consequences.

In his 2016 fight against Johnson, Khabib explained, as per Sportskeeda, why he was wary when he had Johnson in a Kimura.

“When I trapped his hand and went for Kimura, I could have broken his arm. I told him 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.”

Johnson’s initial stubbornness wilted as Khabib earned a third-round stoppage.

Against Gaethje, Khabib displayed a spectacular sense of humility, explaining how his opponent's parents being sat nearby changed the way he fought and how he tried to avoid seriously damaging his hand.

"First, I went for [Gaethje’s] arm, and only then I moved on to the triangle choke. I realised he would not give up and I didn’t want to cripple his hand. So, I went for the triangle choke.

His parents were there in attendance, his father, his the front row. Footage doesn’t show it but when I entered the cage, I could see them sitting there and looking at me.

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This triangle choke was crucial as Khabib earned a second-round stoppage in the fight, impressively capping off his legendary career.

However, unsurprisingly so, there was to be no humility or concern in his fight against Conor McGregor, brutally stopping the Irishman in their titanic October 2018 showdown.

The two engaged in a highly-publicised spat prior to and after the fight involving highly personal insults, most of which came from “The Notorious”.

The bad blood between the pair was incapsulated by the infamous brawl between their respective entourages in the Octagon immediately after Khabib’s victory.

There was to be none of his pity or graciousness that day, and probably rightly so.

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