Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed a hospital scan of the broken toe that threatened to derail his thrilling comeback win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, sharing a snap of the scan alongside a photo of his badly swollen foot.
Russian lightweight champion Nurmagomedov showed remarkable resilience to battle through the injury to his left foot, which trainer Javier Mendez revealed the fighter had sustained in only the second sparring session ahead of his win over Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov hid his injury in the build-up but has now shared the scan, taken on Oct. 7, with his millions of fans on Instagram, adding an emoji of a bandaged head in his first admission of the pain he went through in camp.
Blood inside the toe can be seen in the photo of the retired Dagestani’s distorted foot, taken a day later as the 32-year-old continued his preparations despite an injury that would have caused many fighters to consider withdrawing from a card.
Khabib stayed in the hospital ’cause he had Mumps and also broke his toe.He’s the definition of build different 🤯🐐 pic.twitter.com/fKdzrQM3Ql
Imagine if Gaethje knew about Khabib foot, he would probably bring the Usman foot stomp and won the fight 😂
“Imagine if Gaethje had known about Khabib’s foot,” joked one fan, referencing a foot-targeting move associated with Nurmagomedov’s cousin and fellow fighter, Usman.
“He would probably have brought out the Usman foot stomp and won the fight.”
Another said: “Days later and I can’t stop thinking about that fight Saturday.
“Khabib really fought with a broken foot and didn’t say sh*t. Man fought like nothing was wrong.”
UFC president Dana White had lauded Nurmagomedov as “one of the strongest people in the world” after learning about the injury and his hospitalization for mumps at the start of the camp.
McGregor: *breaks foot weeks before fight but fights anyways*MMATwitter: “this guy is a living meme lol full of excuses”Khabib: *breaks foot weeks before fight but fights anyways*MMATwitter: “what a badass, nobody has spirit like Khabib!”
The difference is Khabib won and Conor lost and guess what? Khabib didn’t even mention it. It was Dana and his coach who mentioned it and you saw Conor getting in the octagon and stomping his foot to the ground. Conor never had a broken foot. Those are just excuses.
Mendez admitted that the camp had been difficult but said Nurmagomedov’s determination and iron will had driven him to a second-round victory in his first fight in more than 13 months.
A cynic claimed that Nurmagomedov, who retired in the Octagon after his submission victory, had not received any of the criticism that former foe Conor McGregor earned when he told fans that he had broken his foot after losing to his unbeaten rival in 2018.
“The difference is, Khabib won and Conor lost,” replied a Nurmagomedov supporter.
“Guess what? Khabib didn’t even mention it. It was Dana and his coach who mentioned it.
“You saw Conor getting in the octagon and stomping his foot to the ground. Conor never had a broken foot. Those are just excuses.”