UFC 254 Khabib v Gaethje: Emotional Eagle RETIRES after an incredible win, early in the second round at UFC 254 on Saturday night, ‘champ fought on broken foot’ Conor McGregor sends a message.
After submitting Gaethje (triangle choke) at 1:34 of the second round to become the undisputed lightweight champion and complete his mission of becoming the best in the sport, Nurmagomedov shockingly announced he was retiring from mixed martial arts.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) made the announcement immediately after he impressively finished his first fight since the death of his father and lifelong coach in July.
A legacy like no other! Thank you @TeamKhabib #UFC254 pic.twitter.com/GGqpGjJluR
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had a heart problem exacerbated by Covid-19, and his son was overcome by tears in the cage moments after choking Gaethje unconscious 1:34 into the second round of his third UFC title defense.
“I’m the UFC undisputed, undefeated champion with a 13-0 record (in UFC), and 29-0 in all of my pro MMA career,” he said after his win in Abu Dhabi. “Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC comes to me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days. She didn’t want me to fight without father and I said this is my last fight – and I have given her my word.”
"Today is my last fight here in UFC." #UFC254 pic.twitter.com/sq6R9LxN1i
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
He added: “Thank you so much, Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close to your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. Thank you, coach, thank you, guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.
“It was my father’s dream. Justin and Conor (McGregor) will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”
[ #UFC254 | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi ] pic.twitter.com/IvFVWGKlmW
— UFC (@ufc) October 25, 2020
Long time rival McGregor of Ireland, who lost to Nurmagomedov in 2018, was amongst the first to congratulate the 32-year-old Russian on his career.
“I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors,” he tweeted.
Good performance @TeamKhabib.
I will carry on.
Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family.
Yours sincerely, The McGregors.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
UFC president Dana White joined the tributes and revealed at a news conference as Fight Island ended that Nurmagomedov had broken his foot in the build-up to Saturday’s event. “What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky we got to see him fight tonight,” said White.
“Apparently he was in the hospital. He broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken – that’s what his corner was telling me. Never told anybody. He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he’s the number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, seriously, you have to start putting him up there with GOAT (greatest of all time) status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”
The legendary fighter retires with a professional record of 29-0.