KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV switched away from his dad’s favourite armbar to the triangle in order to avoid breaking Justin Gaethje’s arm in front of the American’s parents.
The Russian star maintained his 100 per cent record with a stunning victory over Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday night.
Khabib moved away from his dad’s favourite submission move to go straight to the triangle and save breaking Justin Gaethje’s armCredit: Getty Images – Getty
But rather than sealing the win with his traditional armbar move, Daniel Cormier reckons he opted for the safer triangle.
Gaethje revealed in pre-fight interviews he would never tap out and therefore Khabib believed he would need to break his opponent’s arm in order to secure the win in his usual way.
And so he chose to use the triangle method instead, choking his opponent unconscious to take his record to 29-0.
Former UFC heavyweight champ Cormier told ESPN MMA: “Khabib told me when he was watching the interviews over the course of the week, he saw that Justin said he would never tap.
“So when he was going to the submission get him to the armbar then get into the triangle. He said it was his father’s favourite submission.
“When he got there, he was going to do the armbar but he had heard Justin all week saying he would never tap and he didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents so he went to the triangle and put him to sleep.
“He said, ‘I didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents so I went to the triangle – if he goes to sleep, he goes to sleep, you wake up and you’re fine.’
“To be comfortable enough to think about this in the moment is crazy.
There was plenty of respect between the pair afterwards as Khabib announced his retirementCredit: Handout – Getty
“He didn’t want to break his arm because if Justin’s not going to tap, you have to break it and he didn’t want to do that in front of his mum and dad.
“If he put him to sleep he would wake up and everything would be okay.”
Khabib, who was in hospital just weeks before the fight with broken bones in his foot, secured the win in the second round at Fight Island.
He leaves the sport as one of the greatest fighters of all time having cleared out the UFC lightweight division.
But he is unable to continue his career without his father, who mentored and trained his son from the age of eight.
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