After his spectacular performance, and victory, over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Nurmagomedov long talked about reaching the remarkable milestone of 30 fights unbeaten in the sport. However, he laid down his gloves on the canvas with an unparalleled record of 29-0.
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
This, of course, comes just months after the tragic passing of Nurmagomedov’s father, mentor and trainer Abdulmanap – something which obviously played a huge part in his decision.
“Today, I want to say, this was my last fight,” a clearly emotional Nurmagomedov told UFC commentator Jon Anik in the cage after his win. “No way am I going to come here without my father.
“It was first time, after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin. I talked with my mother three days, she don’t want that I go fight without father.
“I promised her, it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.”
The fight world was left reeling from the announcement from a man whose word is one to be believed. Yet everyone is rightly understanding of his decision.
As UFC President Dana White said in the UFC 254 post-fight press conference, we’re all lucky we even saw “The Eagle” compete at all after the grief he’d been through – and continues to go through – following his dad’s premature death.
Good performance @TeamKhabib.
I will carry on.
Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family.
Yours sincerely, The McGregors.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
Nurmagomedov’s long-time rival and former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor took to Twitter to congratulate Khabib, while passing on his condolences once again.
Others, such as former American Kickboxing Academy stablemate Daniel Cormier, also took to social media to celebrate Nurmagomedov’s career.
At UFC 254, The Eagle soared as he totally dominated Gaethje en-route to a second-round submission win. After he announced his retirement, The Eagle had landed.