Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his official retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje in UFC 254. The Yas Island event saw Nurmagomedov finish interim champion Justin Gaethje in the seconds round via triangle choke.
The limited audience stayed quiet as Nurmagomedov dropped to the ground overwhelmed with emotions before leading up to his interview. On top of his good friend, and former UFC Heavyweight champ, Daniel Cormier hinting of a retirement weeks earlier, the Dagestani cemented his retirement when he rushed to remove his gloves (a sign of retiring in MMA) and placed them at the center of the octagon.
Nurmagomedov’s main reason for retirement stems from the passing of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Passing at the age of 57, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedo was a huge component of Khabib’s life, training him at a very young age in the sport of wrestling and mentoring him in life. Khabib commented: “This was my last fight. No way I’m going to come here without my father.” He also mentioned that he was keeping a promise to his mother to not fight without his father at his corner.
While Gaethje was able to land several nasty leg kicks, the fight was mostly one-sided — and what was even more shocking is that after the fight, it was revealed that Khabib was fighting with a broken foot. At 32 years in age, Nurmagomedov retires 13-0 in the UFC, and 29-0 in his professional mixed martial arts career.
Also worth mentioning was Robert Whittaker’s victory against Jared Cannonier. His win now puts him on a two-fight winning streak against top-ranked Middleweights. Dana White has also confirmed that with Whittaker’s performance, he is now the top contender for a rematch against the current UFC Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya.
And with the ending of UFC 254 goes the last fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov and the last Yas Island event for 2020.