Khabib Nurmagomedov is the latest inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame. Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired from his professional MMA career undefeated (29-0). He’s now very determined to become a noteworthy promoter.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most prominent Russian athletes in the world. Nurmagomedov, 33, might be retired now but prior to retirement he accumulated the pristine record containing 29 wins and no losses. Nurmagomedov’s trademark in the UFC octagon became a papakha.
While majority of Nurmagomedov’s opponents were not top ranked competitors that can’t be said for his last 5 opponents. Among them were the top tier competitors in UFC Lightweight division even today Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje and Nurmagomedov managed to submit them both.
But this is also a result of a cunning mind on top of a lot of skill. Here’s how Nurmagomedov described the mind game he played on Poirier in order to quickly end their match up:
In a press conference ahead of the upcoming Eagle FC 37 tournament, the 32-year-old spoke about his hardest opponents while giving us an insight into his mindset during those events.
“I can point out two of them – Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson,” Khabib told RT Sport.
“When I trapped [Johnson’s] hand and went for the kimura… I could’ve broken his arm. I was executing the move very carefully because if you break an arm that way it will never be the same.”
“So I was very careful, rolling it very carefully, and just asked for him to give it up.”
“As for Justin… First I went for his arm.”
“And only then I moved to the triangle choke… I realized, he would not give up and I didn’t want to cripple his hand, so I went for the triangle choke.”
“His parents were there in attendance, his father, his mother… in the front row.”
“Footage doesn’t show it, but when I entered the cage I could see them sitting there and looking at me.”
“So those two guys I didn’t want to hurt too bad.”
This was also confirmed by teammate Daniel Cormier who had shared:
“He [Khabib] told me when he was watching interviews over the course of the week, he saw that Justin said he would never tap.”
“So when he was going to the submission, he said it was his dad’s favorite submission, get into the mount position, go into the armbar and then the triangle.”
“When he got there, he was going to do the armbar but had heard Justin all week say that he wouldn’t tap and he didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents.”
“So he went for the triangle and kind of put him to sleep.”