Khabib Reveals How He Showed Mercy To Two Former Opponents
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that he had to make quick adjustments in order to avoid severely injuring two of his former opponents.
Khabib retired from the sport after successfully defending his title by submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. His retirement wasn’t formally acknowledged by the UFC until February however, and he has shown no desire to return ever since.
Speaking to the media in Kazakhstan, Khabib reiterated the fact that he doesn’t have any desire to fight again.
“I have no desire to come back, and I don’t think I ever will,” Khabib said.
Showing Mercy To Two Former Opponents
After overwhelming Gaethje with forward pressure on the feet in the first round, Khabib took the fight to the ground and submitted ‘The Highlight’ early in the second round. Initially, he went for the armbar, but then shifted to a triangle choke.
Instead of potentially breaking Gaethje’s arm with his father’s favourite submission, Khabib said he took a different route because he didn’t want to badly hurt ‘The Highlight’ in front of his parents, who were seated in the front row.
“First, I went for [Gaethje’s] arm, and only then I moved on to the triangle choke,” Khabib said. “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 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.”
Back at UFC 205 in 2016, Khabib brutalised Michael Johnson with vicious ground and pound for two-and-a-half rounds, before locking him up in a kimura to earn a submission victory. ‘The Eagle’ said that he executed the move carefully in order to avoid serious injury to ‘The Menace’.
“When I trapped his hand and went for Kimura, I could have broken his arm,” Khabib said. “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.”
What do you make of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comments on Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson?