Khabib is declared the winner against Justin Gaethje
Khabib is declared the winner against Justin Gaethje Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that he did not want to break Justin Gaethje’s arm when he took control during his lightweight championship victory over the American at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi last Saturday.

The undefeated UFC lightweight champion, who announced his shock retirement after the win, once again showed himself to be an extremely compassionate warrior who does not want to inflict any damage on his opponents.

In the final minutes of the first round Khabib was in dominant position to force the armbar, which in most cases leads to a broken arm, but Gaethje was saved by the bell.

However, Khabib earned a second take down early in Round 2 and had Gaethje at his mercy and close to submitting him with an another armbar, But instead he changed position and applied the much less dangerous triangle choke to put the American to sleep.

Later, speak to Daniel Cormier and Ariek Hekwani in the ‘DC & Helwani’ podcast, Khabib revealed when he opted for the triangle instead of the armbar.

The Russian told Cormier that when he was watching interviews over the course of the week before the fight he saw that Justin said he would never tap.

“So when he was going to the submission, which he said it was his dad’s favourite submission, he got into the mount position, went into the armbar and then the triangle,” Cormier said.

“When he got there, he was going to do the armbar but remembered Justin had said all week say that he wouldn’t tap and Khabib did not want to hurt him in front of his parents, Carolina and John Ray.”

Gaethje had the UFC fly out his mother and father especially for the UFC 254 showdown to replay them for the years of hard work during which they supported him financially in order to purse his dream to become an MMA champion.

Cormier, who is a close friend of Khabib and a former teammate, added that the Russian told him he would not inflict unnecessary pain in front of Carolina and John Ray, believing their son would be too stubborn to tap out.