Dana White has confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov broke his foot just three weeks before his UFC lightweight title defense against Justin Gaethje.
The Russian, who announced his retirement immediately following the UFC 254 victory, declined to notify the UFC president of the injury before heading to the Fight Island octagon.
Instead, he chose to honor his late father with a sensational performance, then confirmed that he would respect his mother’s wishes and step away from the sport.
Gaethje was supposed to be the toughest opponent Khabib has ever faced, but he rose to 29-0 with consummate ease by securing a triangular choke in the second round.
Despite the ease of his performance however, White revealed during his post-fight press conference that we were even “ lucky ” to see the 32-year-old fight tonight.
He told reporters, “Look man, what this guy went through, we are all lucky to see him fight tonight.
“I hear rumors of other things I didn’t know, which you’ll hear about when it comes out later, I’m sure.
“Apparently he was in the hospital because he broke his foot three weeks ago; he’s got two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken or something.
“That’s what his corner was telling me and he never told anyone, just walking around making him one of the toughest human beings on the planet.”
“He’s the first pound-for-pound fighter on the planet and seriously you need to start putting him up there in GOAT status.