Khabib Nurmagomedov extended his perfect professional record to 29-0 with a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, then announced his retirement from the sport.
The 32-year-old Russian, who was fighting for the first time since the death of his father this summer, produced a superb display to finish UFC interim champion Gaethje with triangle-choke and retain his lightweight title.
After his victory, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport in an emotional post-fight interview in the octagon at ‘Fight Island’.
"It's going to be my last fight."
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 24, 2020
“Thank you to these guys with me, with my father more than 10 years. Coach Jav I love him so much. All my team. Thank you,” said the unbeaten star.
“Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC comes to 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.
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
“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 (McGregor) will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”
Conor McGregor, who lost to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018, tweeted: “Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors.”