UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the fighting world this afternoon when he announced his retirement after defending his title against Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov beat Gaethje via second round submission at UFC 254 on Fight Island. After the win, Joe Rogan referred to Khabib as “The GOAT.”
Today was the first fight for Khabib since the passing of his father earlier this year. The world lightweight champion cited that loss as the major reason for his retirement.
“This was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov said post-fight. “No way I can come here without my father. I spoke to my mother three days before the fight. I promise her it would be my last fight. If I give my word, I have to follow this.”
Around the UFC and sports worlds, the reactions to the Khabib retirement announcement were instantaneous. They all carried a message of respect for the undefeated fighter.
• 29-0 professional record, 13-0 in UFC
• 2nd longest win streak in UFC history
• Tied for most lightweight title wins (4), beating fighters such as Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 24, 2020
I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 24, 2020
Conor McGregor paid respect to Khabib Nurmagomedov and his family after Nurmagomedov announced his retirement.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 24, 2020
Dana White says at the post-fight presser that Khabib broke his foot three weeks ago and never told anyone. #UFC254
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) October 24, 2020
White on Khabib: 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. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that's broken. That's what his corner told me. #UFC254
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) October 24, 2020
Ronaldo just congratulated Khabib on IG "Congrats bro! Your father is proud of you 🙏🙏🙏" pic.twitter.com/lN30Nkr1NX
— 👑Piousbae👑 (@Piousbae012) October 24, 2020
— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) October 24, 2020
If it’s truly the end @TeamKhabib thank you. You, your legacy & your father shall live forever in MMA history. Measures beyond all control meant me leaving FI early but I watched from home as a true fan of MMA. Thank you for your contribution, congratulations & happy retirement.
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) October 24, 2020
Is this truly the end for Khabib as an MMA fighter? Time will tell, but if it is, he went out as a legend and a champion.
Hats off to “The Eagle.”