Khabib Nurmagomedov opens up on why he felt bad hurting Justin Gaethje


Khabib Nurmagomedov has a lot of respect and adulation for Justin Gaethje

It was the 24th of October in 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov stepped inside the Octagon to face Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254. Little did the world know then that ‘The Eagle’ would announce his retirement following the match.

He beat Gaethje via. technical submission due to a triangle choke in only the second round of the fight. After another successful title defense, Khabib sunk to the floor and wept bitterly due to the (then-recent) death of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov was in tears after UFC 254 (Twitter)

The Russian announced his retirement at the post-fight interview, and has now become a coach and promoter.

Following his promotion – Eagle FC’s 37th event, Khabib told RT Sport reporters why he felt bad while hurting Gaethje during their last fight at UFC 254.

The Dagestani claimed that he had seen Gaethje’s parents sitting close to the cage and looking at him (Khabib) just as he was about to enter the cage. This alone was enough for ‘good man Khabib’ to not hurt Gaethje badly.

“I think, my last opponent…As for Justin…First, I went for his arm and only then I moved into 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. His parents were there in attendance, his father, his mother…in the front row. The footage doesn’t show it but when I entered the cage I could see them sitting there and looking at me…So I didn’t want to hurt him too bad.” [via RT Sport YouTube]

Khabib Nurmagomedov gives his verdict on Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather

Logan Paul vs Floyd Mayweather – the exhibition bout, went the full eight rounds, and there was no winner declared since there both the fighters never got knocked out. It was basically a hug-fest.

In the same interview with RT Sport, Khabib explained that it was all business and no fighting.

“What’s there to say? They came out, made money. It’s purely business. There was no competitive aspect to it. Old Mayweather came out, they sparred and made money. What else is there to say?” [via RT Sport]

He then went on to reveal if he would take up a fight like that in the future:

“The guys decided to make money? Should I tell them to not make money and not fight? They came out, put on a show, and earned tens of millions. I have no interest in doing something like that yet. If you give a bit more than ‘a hundred bucks’ I’ll think about it.” [via RT Sport]

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