Khabib Nurmagomedov put on an incredible display at UFC 254 as he defended his World Lightweight Championship and then quickly shocked the world in his post-fight interview as he retires from the sport. Rumours of Nurmagomedov’s impending retirement have been circulating for quite some time now and as far back as last year, his father Abdulmanap was discussing the possibility of the greatest Lightweight MMA fighter in history retiring at 30-0. Sadly, in July of this year, Khabib’s father and long-time coach passed away at the age of 57 and at that point, the media started to wonder if this could push him to an earlier retirement than what was originally planned.
The moment finally came at UFC 254 after Khabib defeated Justin Gaethje in the second round of their fight, locking up a picture-perfect Triangle Choke from full mount and falling his back to secure the finish. After he choked Gaethje unconscious, Khabib’s team immediately began removing his gloves and Jon Anik could clearly tell what was going to happen. Khabib explained then that his mother had asked him not to fight without his father and he made a promise to her that this would be the only time it would happen, and that he would retire afterward.
As Daniel Cormier explained shortly afterward, Khabib is a man of his word and family is the most important thing to him. Despite UFC fans around the world being willing to sell their right arm for a chance to see the greatest Lightweight the world has ever seen take on Georges St-Pierre in the biggest fight of UFC history, it appears as though this will never come to fruition as both men are now retired from the sport.
The full speech that Khabib Nurmagomedov gave after his fight with Justin Gaethje, where he retires from the sport can be found below:
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020