Khabib Nurmagomedov pushed his record to 29-0 today with a submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. For many casual sports fans, Khabib broke onto the scene with his dominant win over Conor McGregor, the most famous fighter in the sport today.
After today’s victory, a very emotional Khabib announced his retirement, citing the death of his father over the summer. He said that he promised his mother that this would be his last fight.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, one of the most highly respected coaches in mixed martial arts, died at just 57 years old back in July, after complications with COVID-19. McGregor pretty classlessly insinuated that the diagnosis was a cover-up, something he deleted pretty quickly after the fact. He later sent Khabib his condolences after Abdulmanap passed away, but for many, the damage was already done.
This evening, McGregor congratulated Khabib on the win, but made it clear. Even if his 32-year old rival is done fighting, he’s not. “I will carry on,” McGregor included in his tweet.
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
McGregor is no stranger to abrupt retirements of course. He’s done it in both 2019 and 2020, though he came back from that first retirement to fight Donald Cerrone earlier this year, a TKO win. Most have assumed that he’ll be back in the Octagon at some point.
In 2018, Khabib beat McGregor on a submission, in a pretty dominant performance, that really poked a big hole in McGregor’s air of invincibility. After that fight, a pretty wild brawl broke out, making for one of the uglier post-fight scenes we’ve had in some time.
Conor McGregor is set to fight Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier in a charity sparring match in December, a rematch of the UFC 178 bout in 2014, which McGregor won on a first-round TKO.