Khabib Nurmagomedov dealt with a lot—both physically and emotionally—heading into what became the final fight of his storied career this past Saturday.
“The Eagle” submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round of the UFC 254 main event with a mounted triangle to retain his lightweight title before subsequently announcing his retirement in Abu Dhabi.
Earlier this year, Nurmagomedov tragically lost his father Abdulmanap, who was his right hand in the combat sports world, as well as his best friend. In addition to the understandable weight that would cast on an athlete, his coach Javier Mendez—along with Dana White after the fight—revealed that Nurmagomedov suffered a broken toe a couple of weeks before the bout.
Early Tuesday morning, Nurmagomedov released a photo via his Instagram stories of the X-ray for his broken toe, which he suffered on Oct. 7.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with heading into a matchup many believed would be the toughest challenge of his career, Mendez also stated to Submission Radio that Nurmagomedov came down with a case of the mumps during his training camp.
The undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion captured the title with a unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. He would go on to defend the title three times with finishes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje to end one of the greatest careers in the history of mixed martial arts.