The UFC lightweight division no longer has its king.
UFC President Dana White confirmed on social media that Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired from mixed martial arts competition and was ending his career with a stellar 29-0 record.
Nurmagomedov first announced his retirement from the sport after his dominant victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October – the first and last fight after his father and mentor’s tragic passing from COVID-19 complications earlier in 2020.
White was confident that he could talk Nurmagomedov round to fight one last time to try and reach the 30-0 record that he and his dad were aiming for. But it seems White couldn’t convince “The Eagle” to compete again in their latest meeting.
“29-0 it is,” White wrote on Twitter. “He is 100% officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work [Nurmagomedov] thank you for everything and enjoy whatever is next my friend.”
29-0 it is.
— danawhite (@danawhite) March 19, 2021
Shortly after White released his statement, Nurmagomedov published his own on social media – thanking his president of his former stomping ground.
“It was a good dinner with some great people,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. “Dana White, thank you so much brother and the entire UFC team for the opportunity [to] prove myself, you guys have changed many [lives] forever because of this sport.
“Dana – I’ll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you. Today there was a real conversation between men.
“Also thank you to all [teams], [sparring] partners and all fans. I hope you will accept my decision and understand me.”
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After defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant UFC lightweight championship at UFC 223 in April 2018, Nurmagomedov went on to make three defences of his title against top names Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje,
On top of that, the Dagestan fighter has defeated respected names such as Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Pat Healy and Gleison Tibau en route to reaching the top of the division.