Pros react after Khabib Nurmagomedov announces his retirement from MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image: UFC on Instagram

Khabib Nurmagomedov squared off with Justin Gaethje for the undisputed lightweight title in the headliner of today’s UFC 254 event.

Nurmagomedov entered the highly anticipated contest sporting a perfect professional record of 28-0, his latest being a submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September of 2019.

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.

Meanwhile, Justin Gaethje had entered today’s UFC 254 event on a four-fight win streak, his latest being a fifth round TKO victory over Tony Ferguson.

Despite many fans and analysts pegging Khabib vs. Gaethje as a possible “fight of the year” contender, that did not prove to be the case. Instead, Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to utilize a frantic pace to overwhelm and frustrate ‘The Highlight‘ on route to second round submission victory.

Following his impressive victory, Khabib shocked the mixed martial arts world by announcing his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts.

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.

Following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s rather shocking announcement, many pros took to social media to pay their respects to the undefeated legend.

Check out those reactions below:

“I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.” – Jon Jones

“#GOAT Enjoy your retirement champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.” – Franki Mir

“Team Khabib Congratulations on an outstanding performance and career. Your father would be extremely proud. P4P King.” – Leon Edwards

“I very much have mixed feelings to see a great like Khabib retire like that! My selfish side always wants to see what else can be learned from a martial artists at his level of technique and endurance.” – Dominick Cruz

“Good performance Khabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregor’s.” – Conor McGregor

“Congratulations Khabib, great career and great performance tonight! All the best to you!” – Leo Santos

Are you surprised that Khabib Nurmagomedov chose to retire from MMA following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on October 24, 2020