White wants Khabib to come back and pressed him hard for one more fight. A tearful Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement at UFC 254 on October 24 after defeating Justin Gaethje via submission in the second round of the main event. Nurmagomedov said, “there’s no way I’m going to be back without my father.”
In an emotional post-fight interview, Khabib told reporters: “Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC called 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.
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. It was my father’s dream. Justin and Conor will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”
Dana White had this to say at the UFC 254 post-fight press conference: “What this guy has been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight.
Apparently, he was in the hospital and he broke his foot three weeks ago.”
White added: “So, he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken. That’s what his corner told me.”
Born in the village of Sildi in Tsumadinsky District in modern Dagestan, Russia, Khabib started wrestling when he was six years old. As a teenager he also trained in Judo and Combat Sambo.
“The Eagle” made his MMA debut in 2008 and he had a perfect 16-0 record across different promotions in Russia and Ukraine before signing with the UFC in 2011.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was one of the most dominant forces in MMA history and a complete fighter, with wins against Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.