Khabib allowed the fight with McGregor go on longer to punish him while he ended Gaethje fight quickly since he liked him
- Khabib Nurmagomedov is said to have allowed his fight with McGregor to go on longer than necessary to punish him
- The Russian fighter announced his retirement after forcing Justin Gaethje to submit in the second round as he liked him and did not want to hurt him in front of his parents
- Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19
Khabib allowed the fight with McGregor to go on longer to punish him while he ended Gaethje’s fight quickly since he liked him.
Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘deliberately finished Justin Gaethje quickly rather than extend the punishment as he had done with Conor McGregor’, insists the Russian’s coach.
Javier Mendez has made the remarkable claim that his fighter showed mercy on his UFC 254 challenger as he had respect for Gaethje.
Both Mendez and Daniel Cormier have said Khabib veered away from the armbar as he did not want to hurt Gaethje in front of his watching parents on Fight Island at the weekend.
Speaking to The Sun, the American Kickboxing Academy coach said:
‘I gather Khabib likes Justin a lot because he finished him sooner than he would’ve with most people. He likes to punish people a bit, ground and pound them.
‘But Justin’s parents were there and he knew Justin wouldn’t tap and he didn’t want to break his arm in front of his parents.
‘Khabib purposely let Conor go longer, he purposely stood with him, he wanted to punish him.
‘Just because Conor went four rounds it doesn’t mean Khabib had a tougher time trying to finish him – Khabib wanted to punish Conor, he didn’t want to do that with Justin.’
The submission win over McGregor came after a toxic build-up to their fight in 2018 and Mendez’s claim that Khabib was so driven to punish McGregor that he allowed the fight to last longer, is a fascinating one.
During the fight itself the Russian repeatedly spoke to his opponent while landing huge blows on the ground.
At one point McGregor even reasoned, ‘It is just business’, but Khabib was not satisfied even after the win and sparked a mass brawl by jumping over the cage to attack the Dubliner’s team-mate Dillon Danis.
The build-up to the Gaethje fight was far more respectful and the Dagestani clearly appreciated his opponent’s sportsmanship.
He walks away from the sport as the pound-for-pound No 1 and banked £4.6million plus bonuses and a share of the pay-per-view takings.