Khabib Nurmagomedov: I never enjoy inflicting pain on my opponent – except for Conor McGregor

Khabib Nurmagomedov typically mauls people in the cage, but he says he doesn’t necessarily get a joy out of it.

Well, there’s one exception, and the answer is pretty obvious: It’s none other than Conor McGregor.

“In the last couple of years, I’ve gone out there and won, and it doesn’t bring me any real joy to be honest, well, with the exception of one fight, let’s say,” Nurmagomedov told RT Sport. “In that fight, I beat that guy with pleasure, I’ll tell you.”

Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) submitted McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) via fourth-round submission at UFC 229 to retain his UFC lightweight title in a battle that got very ugly in the lead-up. The usually calm and tame Nurmagomedov let his emotions get the best of him after the fight, and he jumped over the cage and attacked McGregor’s corner.

It wasn’t typical for behavior for Nurmagomedov, who is typically more composed, even while pounding on his opponents while talking to their corner, and even UFC president Dana White. We’ve seen the UFC champ in fights such as his legendary clash with Michael Johnson, where Nurmagomedov was demanding that his opponent tap out and end the one-sided beating.

“I had fights in my career where I understood that I could hurt my opponent more, but I’d talk to him, tell him to give up so that I don’t beat him too hard,” Nurmagomedov said. “For example, if I had a painful hold where I could break something, I wouldn’t tighten it all the way. It’d just fix it so that the opponent would tap out because I have no aim to hurt anyone in this sport. Yes we compete in a very brutal contact sport, but it’s never my goal to inflict a lot of pain on my opponent.”

“If I understand that I’m winning, I don’t aim to hurt someone bad. Well, except for one fight.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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