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Photo: Khabib’s mumps had his face badly swollen before UFC 254

Khabib said he almost pulled out of his final UFC title defense.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s final title defense at UFC 254 was said to be his “worst camp” ever. The lightweight champion nearly pulled out of the fight after he dealt with a broken toe and mumps during the lead up.

Just how bad was his case of the mumps? Well Khabib says he was hospitalized and taken to “intensive care” for five days. He also shared a photo of the intense swelling, and as seen on the screenshot above, it was so bad, it made it look like someone just photoshopped it.

“It was the nine of September in the morning. When I woke up and I had the mumps already,” Nurmagomedov said. “I started feeling worse on the plane and when we arrive, I get a high fever. 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.

“Well, we even wanted to cancel the fight. I was having so much with this fight, the disease and fractures. At the end of the day, we decided to keep the fight on. It was a hard camp.”

Despite the challenges making it to the event, Khabib still ended up winning the fight and making it look easy. He submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round, then subsequently announced his retirement after going 29-0 in his MMA career.

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