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Khabib Nurmagomedov's Stand for Zubaira Tukhugov: Inside UFC 242 Drama

Khabib Nurmagomedov's Stand for Zubaira Tukhugov
Khabib and Zubaira during training

In the whirlwind of UFC 242's buildup, a lesser-known subplot unfolded behind the scenes, revealing the camaraderie and loyalty within the sport. Zubaira Tukhugov, a name not often in the spotlight, found himself at the center of a crucial moment, thanks to none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Amidst the chaos of Nurmagomedov's highly anticipated title defense against Dustin Poirier, Tukhugov's future hung in the balance. As Tukhugov recounts, 

"Khabib said, 'Zubaira will fight first then I will fight, too.'"

Tukhugov's journey to UFC 242 was far from ordinary. Plagued by suspension and contract termination, he had been sidelined since 2016. Yet, fate intervened, and with Nurmagomedov's backing, Tukhugov found himself back in the fold, poised for a comeback on the grand stage of Abu Dhabi.

However, the road to UFC 242 was riddled with obstacles. Tukhugov recalls the tension as Nurmagomedov threatened to withdraw from the event if his teammate wasn't accommodated. 

"I am going to rip this contract up now," declared Nurmagomedov, ready to take a stand for Tukhugov's spot on the card.

Ultimately, UFC brass relented, reshuffling the lineup to accommodate Tukhugov's return. It was a testament to the bond shared between fighters, transcending contracts and business dealings.

Tukhugov's moment in the spotlight came at UFC 242, where he faced Lerone Murphy to a split draw. Though his UFC journey had its ups and downs, his story underscores the unwavering support within the MMA community.

As Nurmagomedov retired undefeated at UFC 254, his legacy extended beyond the octagon, resonating in acts of solidarity like his stand for Tukhugov. In the tumult of competition, it's moments like these that remind us of the bonds forged in the pursuit of greatness.


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