UFC: Khabib Has Got No Joy From Winning Recently, With One Exception
Being an MMA fighter is not for everyone. Not only is your opponent trying to hurt you, you have to hurt them. Well, unless you’re Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has stated that he’s tried to avoid hurting his opponents in recent years. With the exception of one man – who obviously goes by the name of Conor McGregor.
Whilst talking to a group of school children in Moscow, Russia (as transcribed by RT), Khabib said that he would talk to his opponents and ask them to give up, rather than hurt them. Not something you would expect from a fighter with a perfect 28-0 record in professional MMA.
“I had fights in my career where I understood that I could hurt my opponent more, but I’d talk to him, tell him to give up so that I don’t beat him too hard.
“For example, if I had a painful hold where I could break something, I wouldn’t tighten it all the way, it’d just fix it so that the opponent would tap out. Because I have no aim to hurt anyone in this sport. Yes, we compete in a very brutal sport.”
The obvious example was when Khabib fought Michael Johnson at UFC 205. The UFC lightweight champion went on to tell the kids that although he used to get pleasure in winning at the start of his career, the same joy hasn’t been there the last couple of years. Again, with one exception.
“At the beginning, when you’re just starting out and winning fights, it brings you some sort of pleasure. You enjoy it.
“Recently I haven’t had that. In the last couple of years I’ve gone out there and won and it doesn’t bring me any real joy to be honest.
“Well, with the exception of one fight, let’s say. In that fight I beat that guy with pleasure, I’ll tell you. In that fight, I beat that man with pleasure.”
Khabib was of course referring to his fight with McGregor at UFC 229, where he submitted the Irishman in the fourth round, to successfully defend his 155lbs title.
Although McGregor has continuously campaigned for an immediate rematch since the defeat just over one year ago, it is expected that Khabib will defend his UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson in early 2020.