Russia’s own Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov decided to end his mixed martial arts career after dominantly defending his 155 pound lightweight title against Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254.
Hitting his prime at age 32, Nurmagomedov emotional announcement shocked the world Saturday (24th October) afternoon. Laying his gloves down in the center of the Octagon to signal retirement, moments after a perfect performance fitting an undefeated martial artist owning a gaudy 29-0 record.
“This was my last fight,” said Nurmagomedov in his post fight interview with Jon Anik. “Ain’t no way I’m going to come here without my father.” Nurmagomedov’s father and coach, Abdulmanap, passed away in July after complications from Covid-19.
Nurmagomedov, spoke with his mother for three days before deciding to accept the fight with Gaethje and promised her it would be the last time he stepped into the octagon without his father by his side (either physically, or as a remote strategist which became the norm in recent years as Abdulmanap was unable to fly to the United States due to visa issues). Nurmagomedov became a man of his word, just three months after his idol and best friend left the Earth.
Nurmagomedov is on questionably one of the greatest fighters to have ever competed across any combat sports. Leaving his mark in the sport of mma with countless records but none compared to leaving on top, as the undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion of the world.