Khabib Nurmagomedov had a compromised training camp but still managed to put in a dominant performance against Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov successfully unified the lightweight titles following a second-round triangle choke submission win over Gaethje in the UFC 254 headliner this past weekend. “The Eagle” used relentless pressure and volume throughout the contest before taking Gaethje down in the second and eventually putting him to sleep.
What made the win more impressive was UFC president Dana White later claiming in the post-fight press conference that Nurmagomedov had broken his toes along with his foot earlier in the month.
“Listen, what this guy (Khabib Nurmagomedov) has been through, we are all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” White said. “And I am hearing rumors of other things that I didn’t know about that you guys will hear about when he comes out later. Apparently (Khabib Nurmagomedov) was just in the hospital. He broke his foot. Yeah, that happened three weeks ago.
“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.
“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet, and he’s the number 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. And seriously, you have to start putting him up there at GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”
Nurmagomedov Reveals X-Ray Of Foot
Nurmagomedov would post the X-ray of his broken toe from his left foot from October 7 and followed it up with an image of the toe itself a day later.
He would share it on his Instagram stories on Monday.
Khabib posted an X-ray of his broken toe from Oct. 7, two weeks before he would compete at #UFC254
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 27, 2020
In addition to his foot, Nurmagomedov also had the mumps in September according to American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez.
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
All in all, it was far from the best training camp. And yet despite that, things were easy for Nurmagomedov as he comfortably disposed of one of the biggest threats in the lightweight division in Gaethje.