UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov put a bow on a legendary career with a victory over Justin Gaethje via submission in the main event of UFC 254 this past weekend. Nurmagomedov announced his retirement immediately after the fight with a 29-0 record following the victory over Gaethje.
While it wasn't surprising to see Nurmagomedov make his opponent submit, the type of submission may have caught some folks off-guard. This marked the first time that Nurmagomedov has executed a triangle choke in the UFC. During the "DC and Helwani Show" on Monday, Daniel Cormier, a longtime training partner and friend of Khabib, revealed that Nurmagomedov wanted to put Gaethje "to sleep" because Gaethje had said that he would never tap prior to the fight.
"He told me when he was watching the interviews over the course of the week, he saw that Justin said he would never tap," Cormier said. "Justin would never tap. So when he was going to the submission, he said it was his dad's favorite position, into the mounted position going into the armbar, going into the triangle, he said it was his father's favorite submission. So when he got there, he was going to do the armbar. But he had heard Justin say all week that he would never tap and he didn't want to hurt him in front of his parents. So he went to the triangle and just kind of put him to sleep.
"I promise you. He actually told me that. Where he goes, 'I didn't want to hurt him in front of his parents, so I said I'm going to put him in the triangle. If he goes to sleep, he goes to sleep, you wake up, you're fine.' That's exactly what he told me. He didn't want to hurt Justin in front of his parents."
In the past, Nurmagomedov had only won four fights via triangle choke during his time in Russia, including his first MMA fight in 2008. Nurmagomedov has certainly choked out his opponents before as he used a rear-naked choke to submit Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in his most recent fight prior to taking on Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov goes down as one of the biggest legends that the sport has ever seen. With this time of respect that Nurmagomedov showed to Gaethje, it could make fans appreciate him even more.