Khabib Nurmagomedov confirms he retired because of his love for his mother

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov on Twitter

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov confirmed that he retired from MMA because of his love and respect for his mother.

Nurmagomedov officially announced this week that he was retiring from MMA at the height of his career. At 29-0 and at age 32, Nurmagomedov is very much in his prime and was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world before he made the announcement official and he hung up his gloves. For many fans, the decision to walk away is a surprising one considering he’s still one of the best fighters in the sport and there is plenty of money to be made. But for Nurmagomedov, family trumps all, and that’s why he retired from MMA.

Last July, his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away from COVID-19. Incredibly, Nurmagomedov ended up fighting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October and won. But after that fight, he said he was leaning towards retirement, and cited his closeness to his family as one of those reasons. While UFC president Dana White tried for six months to get him to fight again, ultimately Nurmagomedov chose to officially hang up his gloves and retire.

Speaking to ESPN’s Megan Olivi, Nurmagomedov confirmed that the reason he retired is that he didn’t want to see his mother get old. The stress of watching her son fight and go through a training camp was becoming too much for her, and now that Nurmagomedov is in the position where the money isn’t an issue for his family, he decided the best course of action was to respect his mother and retire. He hopes that fans understand his decision.

“It’s very hard when you have power, when you’re the best in the world, when you’re famous, and you have money, and say to everything, no. This is very hard. People may never understand me, but I really hope they’re going to support my decision. Because everybody has their views and my view, my relationship with my mother, I feel like I have to stop. Because I feel like in every fight, in my every training camp, everything takes some age from my mother. And you know, it’s like, what else do I have to do? I came to this sport to show how I am, to become the best. I’m the world champion, I’m P4P No. 1, I defend my title three times, I won the biggest fight in UFC history. What else? Only money and only money fights, but I don’t need money fights,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said.

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