UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov surprisingly announced his retirement on Saturday after defeating Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254. Nurmagomedov defeated Gaethje via second-round submission in the fight. It was a vintage performance by one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. But Nurmagomedov shocked the entire UFC world in his post-fight interview when the 31-year-old announced he was calling it quits.
“This is my last fight,” Nurmagomedov said per AP. “There’s no way I’m going to be back without my father. I spoke to my mother. She don’t know how I fight without father, but I promised it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow it.”
You can watch Nurmagomedov’s stunning announcement below. The fighter said he was keeping his word to his mother by announcing, “today is my last fight here in UFC.”
Watch Emotional Aftermath of UFC 254
Immediately after scoring the victory, Nurmagomedov fell down to his knees and wept.
Then, the champ took off his gloves and placed them on the floor to signal he was walking away from the sport.
Nurmagomedov finishes his MMA career undefeated at 29-0.
He retires as the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champion and will go down in history as one of the sport’s best and most popular fighters.
Khabib’s Dominance Won’t Soon Be Matched
Nurmagomedov’s record won’t soon be matched in MMA history.
The dominant champ hardly lost a round in his fighting career and will now walk away from the sport as an undisputed champion in his prime.
That hardly ever happens in the world of sports, much less in the topsy-turvy world of professional fighting.
Nurmagomedov is one of the top UFC superstars in history.
‘The Eagle’ Lost His Father Earlier This Year
It’s been a hard year for the champ.
Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, died in Russia earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19.
The champ cited his father’s death as something that led him to consider whether he wanted to continue fighting. Some believed Nurmagomedov was on his way to facing retired UFC legend Georges St-Pierre next, but that isn’t going to happen now.
Because the UFC’s most dominant champ today made his decision to retire, and he’s now revealed to the world that plan after whacking Gaethje in less than two rounds at UC 254.
Nurmagomedov’s Lasting Legacy
Nurmagomedov will leave a lasting legacy in the sport.
Nurmagomedov won all 13 of his UFC fights after signing with the company back in 2011. He won his UFC lightweight title at UFC 223 in April 2018 and defeated UFC superstar Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018 in the best-selling UFC pay-per-view event in history.
“The Eagle” beat Gaethje at UFC 254 for his third successful title defense.
There have been UFC champs with more title defenses than that, and other UFC stars that have achieved amazing records and accolades.
But none have ever looked quite as destructive as Nurmagomedov.
It’s safe to say that Nurmagomedov will be remembered for a long time.
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