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Khabib Nurmagomedov was left with a hugely swollen head shortly before his final UFC fight after coming down with the mumps.
The fearsome Russian picked up the virus in the lead-up to his win over Justin Gaethje back in October, which he claims was his last ever outing in the Octagon.
He managed to make a miraculous recovery in time for the bout at UFC 254 and put in a career-best performance against Gaethje, whom he forced to submit after two rounds of their lightweight contest.
However, Khabib has revealed the full extent of his battle with mumps during a recent interview with Magomed Ismailov.
“I started feeling worse on the plane and when we arrive, I get a high fever,” he said.
“It was getting really bad and after a while, I was taken to the hospital, and I had intensive care for five days. It was really bad.”
Khabib also showed pictures of the shockingly swollen glands he was left with, which is a common symptom of the virus.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Dagestan fighter then suffered a broken thumb 10 days later.
“After 10 days, I broke my thumb. I broke my thumb on October 7,” he added.
“I was having so much (to deal with) with this fight, the disease and fractures.
At the end of the day, we decided to keep the fight on.”
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Several of Khabib’s training partners also contracted mumps, including his cousin Umar – whose UFC debut was subsequently delayed until January as a result.
Umar’s head coach told The Sun: “He was out because he got the mumps.
“A whole bunch of fighters got the mumps. Islam Makhachev got the mumps. When we went to Vegas he got it.
“I guess it lingers, right? Like you don't get it right away. Sometimes you get it a month later or a week later.
“A lot of the fighters got annihilated.”
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- Khabib Nurmagomedov
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