‘His Father, His Mother in the Front Row’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Reveals Why He Didn’t Hurt Justin Gaethje

Published 06/18/2021, 12:11 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after his submission victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout 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 is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. ‘The Eagle’ was undefeated through his MMA career and has an incredible professional MMA record of 29-0. Throughout his career, Nurmagomedov has faced a plethora of great fighters and has dominated them.

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Nurmagomedov is retired now and concentrates on his own MMA promotion. During a recent interview, ‘The Eagle’ was asked whether he ever felt bad for hurting any of his opponents. To this, the fighter gave an honest reply and talked about the two fighters he felt bad hurting.

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He said, “Out of all of them, I think my last opponent. Well, I can point out two of them Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson. When I trapped his hand and went for a kimura, I could’ve broken his arm. I told him to give up two or three times. 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 slowly and just asked him to give it up.”

Nurmagomedov talks about how Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson were the only two fighters he ever felt bad about hurting. The fighter also explained how he showed caution in his fight so that he wouldn’t hurt his opponents seriously.

Why did Khabib Nurmagomedov use the triangle choke against Justin Gaethje?

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Nurmagomedov last fought in the UFC at the UFC 254 event against Justin Gaethje. ‘The Eagle’ won that fight via a triangle choke submission in the second round. Now, Nurmagomedov has revealed why did he end up using that particular choke on Gaethje.

“As for Justin, first went for his arm, and only then I moved onto 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 those two guys I didn’t want to hurt too bad.”

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When you are in a hard fight, it must get difficult to judge whether you are seriously hurting your opponent. However, Nurmagomedov talking about not wanting to hurt his opponents badly shows great character and sportsmanship.

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Paras Pande

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Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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