The retirement of Nurmagomedov is shocking to fans of MMA. He is a legend, a champion, and a unique figure of this sport. After his farewell statement, he received several tribunes.
With the immaculate 29-0 record, Khabib Nurmagomedov established his own mark on the hall of fame of the UFC world. Nurmagomedov’s attacking style is submissive which explains why his last move in the Octagon’s ring was the triangle choke. That move was too powerful that he made his last opponent, Gaethje, half-unconscious.
The reason for Nurmagomedov’s retirement is easy. The Russian fighter did not want to do it without his coach and also his father. His father died in July. 3rd because of complications related to coronavirus. Before officially announcing the retirement, Nurmagomedov stated that he still got something left to do with MMA.
After finishing the fight with Gaethje, Nurmagomedov finally revealed his retired words. “There’s no way I’m going to be back without my father. When UFC called me about Justin (Gaethje), I spoke with my mother for three days. She doesn’t know how I fight without father, but I promised it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow it,” Nurmagomedov said.
“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,” he added.
Throughout his career at UFC, Nurmagomedov won 29 times, 8 via TKO, and 11 times via submission. In the last three matches of him in UFC, Nurmagomedov beat his opponent with submission.
Conor McGregor, the rival of Nurmagomedov, paid some tributes to him after his last fight. “Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and your family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors.” McGregor wrote on his Twitter.
Dana White, the president of UFC also shared his respect for the former Lightweight Champion.
“He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet. He is just the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. And seriously, I have to start putting him up there at G.O.A.T. status with whoever else you think is the G.O.A.T,” White said.
Russian fighter signed his contract with the famous mixed martial arts competition in 2011, and since then, Nurmagomedov has never lost a single fight. Inside the Octagon’s ring, The Eagle (Nurmagomedov’s nickname) was dominantly undisputed. He swept through his opponents with strong fists, technical kicks, and no-mercy submissive movements.
Some fans remain to be shocking when they acknowledge the retirement of Nurmagomedov. Instead of changing his mind, the Russian fighter is dedicated to his decision. “People can’t understand it, but what can you do?” Nurmagomedov said on MMA Fighting.
According to Nurmagomedov, the fighter can not step inside the Octagon cage anymore if he could not do it with his father. For him, the family is everything. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s father, was his coach, his friend, and his reason to become a fighter.
Dana White insisted that UFC had planned for Khabib in January, and his titled would not be stripped off right now. Nonetheless, the undisputed champions seriously confessed that his time with MMA is finished. Before defeating Gaethje, Nurmagomedov said these words in the press conference.
“The emotions in this fight were completely different. Everything was completely different without my father. I was offered the fight right after everything happened. I had the decision to accept it or turn it down, nobody knew about this, or retire, 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 could come up when I’m 32, 34, 35. It’s a hard decision because I’ve been fighting all my life. I’ve been on the mats for as long as I remember. It’s difficult to leave and do something else,” Nurmagomedov said.
After all, Nurmagomedov has published his name in the hall of fame of MMA. His legacy will be carried on by younger fighters, and also by his former colleagues. The Russian pride left the Octagon with his head high, and a belt around his waist.
Collected from ESPN, Bleacher Report, MMA Fighting, and other relevant sources