UFC Lightweight Champion Brings Back the Memories of 1996 Michael Jordan Victory

October 25, 2020 9:22 am

Khabib Nurmagomedov won his UFC 254 main-event against challenger Justin Gaethje and stunned the combat world. The UFC Lightweight Champion left a lot to the fans’ imagination as he unknowingly pulled a Michael Jordan just as he successfully completed a Triangle Choke on an ailing Gaethje.

Both Michael Jordan and Khabib Nurmagomedov are in the GOAT conversations of their respective sports. But they have many more striking similarities as far as certain timelines and events in their lives are concerned. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates his victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Michael Jordan and Khabib Nurmagomedov: That one moment of coincidence

MJ lost his father in July 1993 to a very unfortunate incident that killed him. The then three-time NBA Champion was used to his father’s presence on the courtside during the important games in his life. His father’s loss devastated him so much that he announced his early retirement from the sport that very year. 

Similarly, The Eagle lost his father in July 2020 to a heart condition that got exacerbated by COVID. Khabib’s father used to accompany his son to his press conferences and remained with him on the ringside to coach him frequently. He also announced his retirement from the sport right after defending his title for the third straight time. 

After the match ended, Khabib burst into tears and went down on his knees. This was very similar to how MJ held close his 1996 trophy as he sobbed in that iconic picture. Journalist Ariel Helwani posted this after Khabib’s victory that left The Highlight gasping for breath just 1:34 into the second round.

This UFC moment left the hoop fans nostalgic as they went back to memory lane and reminisced about that age-old NBA moment. 

What were some other notable coincidences?

MJ’s father was about to celebrate his 57th birthday when he lost his life just 8 days prior. At that point in time, Air Jordan was just 30-YO who still had a lot to accomplish in his career. Similarly, Khabib’s father passed away at 57. He was the prime reason Khabib became the legend as we know him today. Also, the UFC Champion was 31-YO when he lost his father, again at such a young age.

Lastly, both MJ (6-0 in the NBA Finals) and Khabib (29-0 in the UFC) remained undefeated in their career. MJ, however, came back from his retirement. However, nothing is certain about Khabib and whether he will come back in the future. Still, both the GOAT athletes will forever be remembered for giving the world a taste of greatness.


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