UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov putting Justin Gaethje to sleep and improving his MMA career to 29-0 was impressive enough.
Then UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov’s corner said the fighter was three weeks removed from a broken toe.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 24, 2020
“We’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” White said. “Apparently he broke his foot. Yeah, three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken, or something like that. That’s what his corner was telling me. Never told anybody, walking around.
“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Nurmagomedov’s coach told Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole that the fighter had to miss two weeks of camp due to a case of the mumps in mid-September. Mendez also clarified to Iole that Nurmagomedov broke his toe, not his foot.
Before he broke a toe in his foot, Khabib had mumps. Coach Javier Mendez just told me that was the worst camp they had and he was out two weeks cuz of the mumps. Got it in mid-September. #UFC254
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) October 24, 2020
Of course, a broken bone and the mumps weren’t the only burden Nurmagomedov was carrying with him while entering the fight at UFC 254. There was also the loss of his father Abdulmanap, who died of COVID-19 complications in July.
Abdulmanap had served as Nurmagomedov’s trainer for his entire career. Nurmagomedov cited his death as the reason for his shocking retirement.
And still, Nurmagomedov found a way to finish Gaethje in the second round. That’s a powerful end to a career that will likely go down as one of the greatest in MMA history.
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