Khabib Nurmagomedov produced another octagon vault after beating Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC lightweight title in Abu Dhabi – but this time the leap was in very different circumstances to his one in Las Vegas a year ago.
Lightweight king Nurmagomedov defeated interim champ Poirier via third-round submission in the UAE on Saturday night, extending his unbeaten record to 28-0.
READ MORE: Khabib vaults cage again to celebrate submitting Poirier to become undisputed champ at UFC 242
On sealing victory, the Russian fighter vaulted out of the octagon in scenes that might have sparked fears over a repeat of the infamous post-fight melee that marred Nurmagomedov’s victory over Conor McGregor last October.
But this time the leap was one born of joy rather than rage, as the Dagestani fighter was mobbed by his team but also managed to land on UFC boss Dana White, who was sitting cageside.
Speaking to reporters in Russian afterwards, Khabib said: “When I won, I saw my three uncles sitting by the cage. I wanted to jump to them to celebrate, but they were sitting behind Dana White.
“And if I’d jumped all the way to them I’d probably have landed on the concrete like I did the last time.
“So I looked at Dana, and he is a little bit soft. So I jumped on him so I can bounce off him to my uncles. So there was a bit of a pile.
“But of course I did it out of happiness. If you have never competed and won at such a high level it would be hard for you to understand these kind of emotions.”
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