UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has stunned the world by announcing his retirement at the young age of 32. Nurmagomedov’s decision came after he choked out his opponent Justin Gaethje in the second round of their title fight at the UFC 254 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. The decision was taken by the fighter after his bout as he promised his mother that it would be his last.
Nurmagomedov’s triangle-choke submission finish is also reported to be the third ever in UFC title history. The UFC champion had lost his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov to COVID-19 in July this year. His dad was his longtime coach and a legend in the fight game as well.
Nurmagomedov, who broke down in tears right after the fight on Saturday, was also fighting for the first time since his dad had passed away. He explained that his mother didn’t want him to fight without his father by his side. He decided to end his career with that bout as needed to wrap up his business with Gaethje before calling it quits.
ESPN has Nurmagomedov currently ranked as the number one pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world, while Gaethje is at No. 8. In the lightweight division, ESPN has ranked Nurmagomedov and Gaethje at Nos. 1 and 2. Khatib had come in as the UFC lightweight champion, and Gaethje was the interim champ.
“When ALLAH with you, nobody can broke you, nobody 👊⚔️
Thanks Father for everything, you teach all my life, may ALLAH grant you the highest Paradise 🤲.” Khatib wrote on Instagram on Sunday