MMA world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from the sport on Sunday morning (Oct 25) after revealing he “promised his mother” that his clash with Justin Gaethje would be his last fight.
The Russian, who won by a second-round technical knockout, was fighting for the first time since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap in July.
“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.
He added: “Thank you so much Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close with 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.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, passed away after suffering complications from Covid-19 in the summer.
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.
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.
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