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Reason why Khabib Nurmagomedov choked out Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 instead of attacking with an armbar

Khabib Nurmagomedov did not want to injure Justin Gaethje at UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov did not want to injure Justin Gaethje at UFC 254
Modified 27 Oct 2020, 13:02 IST

There was a noble reason why Khabib Nurmagomedov chose to choke Justin Gaethje out instead of attacking with an armbar in the main event of UFC 254 last weekend. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion, successfully defended the title with triangle choke that put Gaethje to sleep in the second round. 

A little over a minute into the second round, Nurmagomedov was able to take down and mount Gaethje, before locking in the choke. A closer look will show that Khabib could have easily trapped Gaethje’s arm as well to potentially transition into an armbar.

Instead, “The Eagle” settled for the deep choke, which was enough to put Gaethje away in a more painless manner. 

According to UFC commentator Daniel Cormier, who also happens to be a teammate of Khabib's at AKA, the undefeated Russian did not want to have to break his challenger’s arm and cause him any significant injuries.

“He[Khabib] was going to do the armbar, but he heard Justin all week saying he would never tap,” Cormier said on an episode of DC & Helwani. “And he didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents, so he went to the triangle and just put him to sleep.” 
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A tremendous sign of respect from Nurmagomedov, who obviously bears no ill will towards Gaethje. The American challenger returned the favor later on after the match by consoling Nurmagomedov, who was brought to tears by the victory. 

Following the emotional win, Nurmagomedov stunned the world by announcing his retirement from MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov ends career on submission streak


Khabib Nurmagomedov capped off his stellar MMA career with a submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. 

“The Eagle”, who announced his retirement during the post-fight speech, ends his career with an unblemished 29-0 professional record, which includes three successful defenses of the UFC Lightweight Championship. 

Throughout his run inside the Octagon, Nurmagomedov displayed a penchant for dominating his opponents on the ground and grinding out decision victories. In his 13 UFC wins, six came by way of unanimous decision. 

In his last three bouts however, Nurmagomedov displayed a whole new level of dominance by submitting all three of his opponents, all of whom were current or former UFC belt holders - interim or otherwise. 

In his first defense of the UFC’s lightweight strap, Nurmagomedov shut down and choked out former lightweight champion Conor McGregor via a neck crank in the fourth, leaving no doubts as to who the rightful king at 155-pounds was. 

Nearly a year later, Nurmagomedov again showed that he was close to untouchable on the ground, as he dominated and then submitted then-interim champion Dustin Poirier with a second-round rear naked choke. 

In his most recent outing, Nurmagomedov started a bit slow but turned it on in the second round to run through Gaethje with a triangle choke. 

That three-fight submission streak was the second of Nurmagomedov’s career, with the first one dating back to his ProFC days in 2011. 

Published 27 Oct 2020, 13:02 IST
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