After defeating Justin Gaethje via submission in the second round of the main event at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement saying, “there’s no way I’m going to be back without my father.”
In an emotional post-fight interview, Khabib said: “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.”
Khabib recently talked about what his last fight was like and more: “The emotions in this fight were completely different. Everything was completely different without my father. I was offered the fight right before everything happened. I had the decision to accept it or turn it down, nobody knew about this, or retire altogether. Or I could come back, fight and then retire.
Now I tell the people close to me that aren’t happy with me retiring that even if I fought 10 more times I’d still have to face that decision. This decision would come up when I’m 32, 34, 35. It’s a hard decision because I’ve been fighting all my life. For as long as I remember I’ve been on the mats. It’s difficult to leave and do something else.”
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 now Justin Gaethje.
Born: September 20th, 1988
Weight: 155 lbs