It turns out Khabib Nurmagomedov had the ‘worst camp’ ever leading into his successful lightweight title defense opposite Justin Gaethje earlier today (Sat., Oct. 24, 2020) at UFC 254 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
Nurmagomedov, who finished Gaethje via second-round submission to push his overall MMA record to 29-0 (13-0 UFC), unexpectedly announced his retirement after the fight. The undisputed lightweight king had made a promise to his mother that he would no longer compete without his father by his side.
The entire post-fight sequence was quite emotional for Khabib as he was seen crying in the center of the Octagon after putting Gaethje to sleep. It wasn’t until the UFC 254 post-fight press conference (full replay HERE) that it was revealed Nurmagomedov had the worst camp he ever had for his final trip to the Octagon.
“What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” UFC president Dana White told media members at the presser. “And I’m hearing rumors of other things that I didn’t know about that you guys will hear about when he comes out later. Apparently, he was in the hospital. He broke his foot. 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 one pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” added White. “And seriously, you have to start putting him up there at GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”
In addition to White, Khabib’s head coach, Javier Mendez, spoke to Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole after UFC 254 and revealed even more about Khabib’s difficult camp.
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
“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,” wrote Iole.
Regardless of what Khabib had to endure during his preparation for UFC 254 he still showed up better than ever and easily dismantled one of the toughest guys in the division. It didn’t matter if he had a broken foot, a case of the mumps, or competing in front of no fans for the first time, Nurmagomedov wasn’t going to let his late father down.
As of now, we are left to assume Khabib will never step foot inside of the Octagon again. He will leave a legacy as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and one of the toughest competitors of all time, especially after learning about his ailments entering UFC 254.
For complete UFC 254 results and coverage click here.