Khabib Nurmagomedov's second-round submission (via triangle choke) of Justin Gaethje on Saturday night was impressive enough. That he did it on a reported broken foot makes it all the more incredible, as it will only add to Khabib's legend.
"What this guy has been through, we're all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight," Dana White told the media at the UFC 254 post-fight press conference. "Apparently, he was in the hospital and he broke his foot three weeks ago. So, he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that's broken. That's what his corner was telling me. He never told anybody.
"He's one of the toughest human beings on the planet," White continued. "He is just ... he's the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world."
The reported injury didn't stop "The Eagle" from cinching in the triangle choke on Gaethje and claiming his 29th victory, as he retained the lightweight title live from "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi. After losing his father this past summer, an emotional Nurmagomedov laid his gloves in the center of the Octagon and called it a career, vowing that he promised his mother that this would be his final MMA fight.
As White continued to address the media, he spoke about Khabib's indelible legacy at 29-0, counting victories over the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and now Gaethje to name a few.
"Seriously, you have to start putting him up there as GOAT status," White added, "with whoever else you think is the GOAT."
Perhaps that got back to Jon Jones, who tweeted the following after Khabib's win:
15 world titles, numbers don’t lie.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
Definitely a powerful moment, but my logic is definitely not clouded.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020