Image source: Khabib Nurmagomedov's Instagram (@khabib_nurmagomedov)
Current undisputed lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, did a Q&A session with some school children in Russia.
Russian news outlet RT Sport published this on their YouTube channel and one of the children asked Nurmagomedov what his proudest victory was.
“At the beginning, when you’re just starting out and winning fights, it brings you some sort of pleasure. You enjoy it. Recently I haven’t had that.
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. In that fight, I beat that guy with pleasure, I’ll tell you.”
This comment is very uncharacteristic of Khabib who has always shown class and respect to his opponents which was most apparent in his last outing against Dustin Poirier. After the bout Khabib embraced Poirier and swapped shirts, the fight kits were then auctioned and all proceeds were donated to charity.
“The Eagle” went on to further explain that he doesn’t enjoy inflicting lots of pain on his opponent, however, McGregor was the exception.
“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. 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.”
The animosity and bad blood between the rivals was apparent in the build up to the fight. It even spilled over and continued after the fight was over leading to Khabib attacking Dillon Danis who was in McGregor’s corner. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Khabib feels slightly differently about “The Notorious” in comparison to his other opponents.