MMA lore is made on key moments, this is a part of why TUF series played an integral role in hooking the UFC fanbase and getting them invested into what was going on in the cage.
But not all fanfavorites come from TUF – many are made in small moments in the cage. One such moment was the infamous case of Khabib Nurmagomedov and his reluctance to break the arm of Michael Johnson.
“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.””
Khabib is not alone in his carefulness toward his opponents, his cousin Umar had expressed a considerable level of hesitation during his spectacular KO win over Raoni Barcelos.
Nurmagomedov was also fast to express a deep level of regret about landing a shot when Barcelos was already knocked out.