Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Justin Gaethje via a second-round submission at UFC 254 and then dramatically called time on his illustrious career in an emotional post-fight interview.
The Russian will hang up his gloves with an impeccable 29-0 record in the UFC.
He no longer wants to continue fighting following the death of his father Abdulmanap earlier this year.
“First of all, I want to say Alhamdulillah,” the lightweight champion said. “God gives me everything. Thank you these guys, these guys with me and with my father for more than 20 years.
“All my team, AKA, with Coach Jav. I love you so much. All my team. Thank you.
“Today, I want to say this was my last fight. Ain’t no way I’m going to come here without my father. After what happened with my father, when the UFC called me I talked with my mother for three days.
“She doesn’t me to go and fight without my father. But I promise her it’s going to be my last fight. And if I keep my word, I have to follow this.”
Abdulmanap passed away after health complications caused by coronavirus.
The death Nurmagomedov family has been deeply affected by the death and Khabib made a promise to his mother.
“I promised my mother this is going to be my last fight,” the Dagestani said.
“I only want one thing from the UFC, I want to be the No 1 one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Meanwhile, UFC chief Dana White admitted he did not have a heads up about the impending retirement announcement.
“No. He was in the Octagon and we were all standing around listening,” White said.
“It almost smelt like an upset tonight. The way he reacted at the weigh in and walked into the Octagon. He didn’t look like himself, breathing heavy, taking deep breaths.
“What this guy has been through, we are all lucky we have seen him fight tonight.
“Apparently he was in the hospital and broke his foot three weeks ago. He has two broken toes and a bone in his foot broken. That is what his corner told me.
“He never told anyone and is walking around. He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and the number one pound-for-pound fighter.
“You have to start putting him in the GOAT status.”
But will White try and convince the superstar to perform a U-turn and return to the Octagon?
“When guys want to fight they will fight, when guys don’t want to fight they won’t,” he added.
“Let him take some time off, let him heal, not physically but emotionally heal, with what he is going through losing his father.”
Published at Sat, 24 Oct 2020 20:59:00 +0000