REVEALED: Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘broke his foot and was in hospital three weeks ago’ and also developed MUMPS in his training camp for Justin Gaethje as Dana White pays tribute to ‘one of the toughest human beings on the planet’
Nurmagomedov stunned the American on Saturday night, winning via a second-round submission to extend his unbeaten MMA record to 29-0.
The 32-year-old announced his retirement immediately afterwards and as well as White paying tribute to ‘one of the toughest human beings on the planet’, Khabib’s head coach Javier Mendez said the UFC star developed mumps in September.
Khabib Nurmagomedov endured a tough pre-fight camp and broke his foot three weeks ago
UFC president Dana White revealed that the UFC star was taken to hospital after the injury
‘What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,’ White said at the post-fight press conference.
‘And I’m hearing rumours 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.
‘And seriously, you have to start putting him up there at GOAT [Greatest Of All Time] status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.’
Mendez backed up White’s claims of a difficult pre-fight camp for the Russian, telling Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole: ‘Before he broke a toe in his foot, Khabib had mumps.’
Khabib’s head coach Javier Mendez revealed that the Russian also developed mumps in camp
Iole added: ‘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.’
Making a speech following his second-round victory in the headline event at UFC 254, Khabib announced the news of his retirement live to the cameras.
The 32-year-old was quick to thank his team but insisted he would not be returning to the UFC without his late father Abdulmanap by his side, following his passing in July after health complications caused by coronavirus.
After retaining his flawless record Khabib has now announced he will retire from MMA
The 32-year-old was visibly upset following his latest triumph in a poignant moment last night
He was taken to hospital in Moscow in May, after coronavirus symptoms exacerbated an existing heart condition, with his passing understood to have deeply affected Khabib. He then gave his word to his mother that the next fight he took in the octagon would be his last.
The unbeaten star said in the immediate aftermath of his victory over Gaethje: ‘Thank you for these guys, these guys with me, been with my father for more than 10 years. All my team, AKA with coach Javier, I love him so much, all my team.
‘Today, I want to say, this was my last fight. No way am I going to come here without my father. It was first time, after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin.
The UFC lightweight champion extended his unblemished record to 29 wins and zero defeats
‘I talk with my mother three days, she don’t want that I go fight without father. I promised her, it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.
‘I know only one thing I want from UFC, you guys have to put me on No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, because I deserve this.
‘UFC undisputed, undefeated lightweight champion, 13-0, 13 in UFC, 29 in all pro MMA career. I think I deserve it.