UFC superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov suffered from mumps as well as a broken foot and toe in preparation for his historic victory over Justin Gaethje.
President Dana White revealed on Saturday that the Russian went to hospital after breaking bones in his foot just weeks before facing the American.
But his victory was made even more impressive following the latest reveal.
According to UFC reporter Kevin Iole, Khabib’s coach revealed he was out of action for two weeks with a case of mumps.
He tweeted: “Before he broke a toe on his foot, Khabib had mumps.
“Coach Javier Mendez just told me that it was the worst camp they had and that he was out for two weeks because of the mumps. I understood it in mid-September. ”
That didn’t stop Nurmagomedov from retaining his lightweight crown on Fight Island with a second round submission in Abu Dhabi.
Undefeated Khabib then announced a shock retirement after his 29th consecutive victory, which was the first since his father died from Covid-19.
And UFC president White admitted that 32-year-old Nurmagomedov deserved to win, having gone to great lengths to make headlines at UFC 254.
He said: “We are all lucky to see him fight tonight because he was apparently in the hospital with a broken foot three weeks ago.
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What is the name of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife and how many children do they have?
“I think he has two broken toes and a broken foot bone, that’s what his corner told me.
“He never told anyone, he was walking around as usual, he is one of the toughest human beings on the planet.
“He’s the # 1 pound for pound in the world and you need to start talking about him having GOAT status with whoever you think is the GOAT.
“When guys want to fight, they fight and when they don’t, they don’t.
“You have to give them time and let them heal mentally more than physically, with what he went through losing his father.
“We are all lucky to have seen him on Saturday night. ”
Nurmagomedov was left in tears after beating Gaethje, as he dedicated the victory to his father and trainer Abdulmanap, who died at the age of 57 from coronavirus in July.
But he said he felt unable to fight without his father and influential mentor, with whom he had trained since he was eight.
Nurmagomedov said: “Today I want to say it’s my last fight.
“When the UFC called me about Justin, I spoke with my mom and said I wouldn’t fight without a dad.
“And if I give my word, I must follow it. The UFC has to make me # 1 pound for pound in the world, because I deserve it.
“I want to say thank you to Lorenzo and Dana. This whole UFC team, everyone, they put on a great show.
“Thanks Justin, thanks brother. I know how you take care of your people.
“Someday something is going to happen for you, you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
“Today is my last fight here in the UFC.”