Khabib Nurmagomedov selflessly decided not to lock Justin Gaethje in an arm bar at UFC 254 because he knew the American’s parents were there.
“The Eagle” proved to be one of the best lightweight to ever set foot in the Octagon when he finished the man many considered his most dangerous foe in just two laps.
After taking about two minutes to read Gaethje, the Russian pushed relentlessly in the first round and finally got a strikeout 30 seconds from time.
After moving to the upper mount, he sought to lock an arm bar, but was denied a finish by the horn to signal the end of the round.
At the start of the second round, Khabib read the lead leg kick from “The Highlight” and again secured the upper frame of the double leg grip and was about to get a bar finish. arms.
But despite being minutes away from retaining his title, the Russian showed incredible poise and MMA technique to shift instead of a downward triangle to secure victory.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, his AKA teammate Daniel Cormier explained why Khabib did this and the reason why is just amazing.
Cormier said: “He told me that when he watched the interviews during the week he saw that Justin said he would never type. Justin would never type.
So when he was going to submission he said it was his dad’s favorite position, in the armband mounted position, in the triangle, he said it was his father’s favorite submission.
So when he got there, he was going to do the armband. But he had heard Justin say all week that he would never hit and that he didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents. So he went into the triangle and just put it to sleep.
“I promise you. He actually told me. Where he’s going,” I didn’t mean to hurt him in front of his parents, so I said I’m going to put him in the triangle. If he falls asleep, he falls asleep, you wake up, you’re fine.
“That’s exactly what he told me. He didn’t want to hurt Justin in front of his parents.
Gaethje had only one request of Dana White for her huge title fight, which was to make sure her parents were at the Flash Forum in the hopes that he could repay them for their years of financial sacrifice and emotional with a UFC championship belt.
Khabib was actually mourning the loss of his father and, although the arm bar was his favorite maneuver; he couldn’t honor his late father by embarrassing another man in front of his parents.
It’s moments like this that make the 32-year-old the greatest lightweight of all time for his impeccable 29-0 record, but also his decorum and class outside of the Octagon.
MMA reporter Gareth A. Davies believes the recently retired Russian “will live with us forever.”
He said, “So that you can choose your own terms. To go out on your own this way and not take a $ 100 million check for your next two fights.
“Not having a rematch against Conor McGregor. Doing all of these things, I actually think an amazing athlete. An incredible character in our sport who will live with us forever.