Khabib Nurmagomedov Reveals Serious Injuries Leading Into UFC 254

Published 12/29/2020, 12:47 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia stands in his corner prior to his lightweight title bout against Justin Gaethje during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Khabib Nurmagomedov put on yet another dominant display at UFC 254. ‘The Eagle’ took on arguably his toughest test to date on paper in Justin Gaethje. On fight night, however, the story was the same as it has been 28 times previously. The champion displayed utter dominance and annihilated his strong opponent. 

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Critics felt that ‘The Highlight’ would pose problems for Khabib as he had a good background in wrestling, coupled with dangerous striking and a gas tank for days. However, Khabib was able to withstand the brutal leg kicks and pressure early on to secure a submission win in the second round of their fight. 

Read: “They have no one to offer me”- Khabib Nurmagomedov squashes UFC return rumors 

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Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks about the difficulties of training camp leading up to UFC 254

In a recent interview, Khabib was asked how the training camp was leading up to the fight.

‘The Eagle’ said, “I have broken my toe. It was October 7 – two weeks before the fight. Before that, in mid-September, I got to the hospital – I was very sick, spent 10 days there, 5 of them in intensive care. I had a virus. By the end of September, I started training. Camp was very hard. And in the fight itself, I was with a broken finger. (Translated via Google translate)”

Though no hassles were reported during camp, after the fight, Khabib and his camp revealed that he had to overcome some serious injuries to ensure that he made the walk to the octagon. Nurmagomedov’s camp shared pictures of a swollen foot taken 17 days before he battled Justin Gaethje. 

After the fight, his coach, Javier Mendez, revealed that despite the injuries, Khabib was determined to honor his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov who passed away earlier this year. 

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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – APRIL 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia prepares to fight Al Iaquinta in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 223 event inside Barclays Center on April 7, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Leading up to the fight against Justin, Nurmagomedov carried a lot of emotional baggage. The physical scars exacerbated the mental ones, making the camp and the weight cut a lot harder. However, ‘The Eagle’ came out of one of his toughest tests with flying colors and proved to the world why he is one of the most mentally tough fighters in the UFC. 

What do you make of Khabib overcoming injuries to take out Justin in the manner that he did? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

825 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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