UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed how he refused to break Justin Gaethje’s arm at UFC 254.
The 32-year-old won the fight by technical submission but claims he could have stopped it earlier, holding back to avoid upsetting Gaethje’s parents.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, 32, showed Justin Gaethje mercy in their UFC fight[/caption]
Khabib was asked at a press conference who was the hardest opponent to hurt in the Octagon.
He said via RT Today: “I can point out two of them – Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson.
“When I trapped [Johnson’s] hand and went for the kimura… I could’ve broken his arm.
“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 carefully, and just asked for him to give it up.
“As for Justin… First I went for his arm.
“And only then I moved 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 mother… in the front row.
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“Footage doesn’t show it, but when I entered the cage I could see them sitting there and looking at me.
“So those two guys I didn’t want to hurt too bad.”
Khabib is yet to lose a professional fight, defeating the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier on his way to a 29-0 record.
He’s announced his retirement from MMA and claims he’s received offers to play professional football in his native Russia.
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Speaking on his Instagram page, he said: “A lot of football clubs, they have offered me [a deal].
“If some club offered me an interesting offer, I’m going to accept it because it’s my childhood dream.
“I love football, I’ve been following it since I was a child. It’s my first love.”
The UFC legend has reportedly turned down a £100MILLION offer to box Floyd Mayweather, according to his manager.