'I didn't want to cripple his hand' - Khabib Nurmagomedov reflects on being careful submitting Justin Gaethje

UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje
UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje

Khabib Nurmagomedov was recently seen reflecting on his last octagon outing while at a press conference.

Attending the latest Eagle Fighting Championship event as a special guest, Nurmagomedov revisited his wins over Michael Johnson and Justin Gaethje in the post-fight presser.

According to the former UFC lightweight champion, he was always concerned about his opponent's well-being inside the cage and deliberately avoided causing them any lasting injury.

Speaking about his last UFC title defense, Khabib Nurmagomedov told media at the EFC post-fight press conference-

"As for Justin...First, I went for his arm, and only then I moved on to 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 the front row. 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 Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport after a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje in the main event at UFC 254.

Khabib Nurmagomedov was also concerned about Michael Johnson

Khabib Nurmagomedov was already on the path to glory when he faced Michael Johnson at UFC 205.

Nurmagomedov was rocked early on by Johnson, who was notoriously fast in the southpaw stance. However, that was the only adversity Khabib came across as he dominated the rest of the bout.

It was also during his third-round submission win over Johnson that Khabib Nurmagomedov became famous for his mid-fight trash talk.

Recalling the kimura that led to the end of the fight, Nurmagomedov said-

"Well, I can point out two of them- Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson. When I trapped his (Michael Johnson) hand and went for Kimura, I could have 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."

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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