UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from MMA following his submission win over Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov put on a stunning performance at UFC 254 on Saturday at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, perhaps the absolute best performance of his UFC career. Nurmagomedov dominated Gaethje with his grappling, forcing his opponent to sleep in the second round after the referee missed the tap. Immediately after the fight, Nurmagomedov spoke to UFC announcer Jon Ank and announced he is retiring from mixed martial arts.
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In Nurmagomedov’s retirement speech, he specifically spoke about how much missing his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomdov hurt him. “The Eagle” said that he doesn’t want to continue without his father in his corner. The champion mentioned that he has spoken to his family and told them he would be retiring before the fight. He wanted to keep his word to his mother and decided to make the announcement official tonight. He also specifically thanked UFC president Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Joe Silva.
Nurmagomedov also mentioned that he isn’t interested in fighting the winner of the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fight at UFC 257 in January. Nurmagomedov has already beaten both men previously by submission and said he wasn’t interested in rematching either man, especially since their fight is scheduled to take place at welterweight. Nurmagomedov also said there just weren’t enough challenges for him.
Nurmagomedov retires at age 32 with a perfect 29-0 record in MMA, including a pristine 13-0 record in MMA. He made his UFC debut in 2012 and quickly ascended up the rankings, defeated veterans such as Rafael dos Anjos and Gleison Tibau on his way up the lightweight ladder where he knocked out top contenders such as Edson Barboza and Micahel Johnson to earn a title shot. Nurmagomedov then defeated Al Iaquinta to win the vacant lightweight title in 2018 before adding the wins over McGregor and Poirier.
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