Khabib Nurmagomedov, the unbeaten UFC champion, announced his retirement after a fight against Justin Gaethje during the UFC 254, on Saturday. He drew curtains on his mixed martial arts career after retaining his lightweight title at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
On Saturday, Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje with a second-round triangle choke submission to claim a 29th win and unify the 155lb title.
Nurmagomedov revealed that he had promised his mother that the fight is going to be his last. Khabib was fighting in the UFC for the first time since the death of his father Abdul Manap, who died due to COVID-19.
The fight with Justin Gaethje ended in the second round when Khabib choked the latter, the fight ended with a "technical knockout".
Soon after the fight, Khabib had an emotional outburst and began to weep on the floor of the UFC octogon, presumably due to him fighting without the support of his father for the first time. Gaethje, after gaining consciousness, shared a moment of mutual respect with the champion.
During the presentation Khabib announced that the first was going to be his last.
"Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father." Khabib said.He also said that he'd promised his mother that the fight is going to be his last.
"I spoke with my mother for three days. She didn't want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight, I have given her my word",Khabib added.
"Be close with your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow." Khabib said while addressing the Justin Gaethje.
Soon after his retirement, tributes were paid to the "legendary" fighter. Long-time rival McGregor, who lost to Nurmagomedov in 2018, was amongst the first to congratulate the 32-year-old Russian on his career.
"I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors," read a tweet on McGregors profile.
dollUFC president Dana White also paid the tributes and revealed at a news conference that Nurmagomedov had broken his foot in the build-up to Saturday's event. "What this guy's been through, we're all lucky we got to see him fight tonight," Dana said.
"He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he's the number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, seriously, you have to start putting him up there with GOAT (greatest of all time) status with whoever else you think is the GOAT." Dana added.
Khabib was also congratulated by the football star, Cristiano Ronaldo who took to Instagram, shared a video and wrote "Your father will be proud of you".
The Dagestani MAA fighter, in a career spanning 12 years, remained undefeated with a record of 29-0. He is also hailed as a "Muslim Hero" by many.
During the years at UFC, the fighter has often used Islamic phrases before and after his fights. In 2018, he rebuked Conor McGregor for offering him beer to drink.
Khabib has actively participated in charity and donations. In 2018, Khabib went on a charity misson to Nigeria, to help local children there.
"It was my childhood dream and I was praying God to give an opportunity to help people in Africa," Nurmagomedov had said (as quoted by Sputnik). He also raised $100,000 after he sold the t-shirt which Dustin Poirier had gifted him.
The internet hailed Khabib as a hero, some even called him the "Greatest of All Time". See some of the tweets