The behind-the-scenes story of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement fight against Justin Gaethje appears to have endless layers, with Daniel Cormier now revealing the heartwarming reason why the lightweight champion went for a triangle choke submission to end the fight rather than continuing to apply the armbar.
According to Cormier, Khabib told him that during fight week he’d learned two things that had stuck in his mind – that Gaethje had said that whatever happened he wouldn’t tap out, and that he’d brought his parents with him to Fight Island and they’d be Octagon-side to watch the fight.
“He goes, ‘I didn’t want to hurt him in front of his parents, so I said I’m going to go and put him in a triangle,” DC stated on ESPN. “And if he goes to sleep, he goes to sleep, you wake up, you’re fine.’ This is exactly what he told me. That’s crazy, right? He did not want to hurt Justin in front of his parents.
“To be comfortable enough to think about this in the moment, that’s crazy. He didn’t want to break his arm. Because if Justin’s not going to tap, you have to break it. And he did not want to do that to Justin in front of his mom and dad.”