Khabib Nurmagomedov Retires 29-0 After Defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254

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UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired with an undefeated 29-0 record in MMA after defeating Justin Gaethje via 2nd-round submission in the main event of UFC 254 tonight in Abu Dhabi.

The Degastani mixed martial artist—whose father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in July from complications due to COVID-19—laid down his gloves in the UFC Octagon after rendering Justin Gaethje unconscious with a triangle choke.

It was the first time Nurmagomedov competed since his father’s death, and the lightweight champion revealed that his mother was uncomfortable with him fighting without Abdulmanap, but “The Eagle” gave her his word that this would be his retirement bout.

“If I give my word, I have to follow this!” proclaimed a tearful Khabib Nurmagomedov. He had one request for the UFC as he drew his career to a close, to be ranked no.1 in the pound-for-pound fighter rankings.

Soon after the announcement of his retirement, tributes of respect flooded in from former opponents and peers in the MMA community:

After joining the UFC with a 16-0 record in 2011, Khabib Nurmagomedov would go on to carve his way through a stacked lightweight division. A dominant decision over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 secured Nurmagomedov the vacant UFC championship, and his champion status was solidified with a 3rd-round submission over Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Khabib ends his UFC career with a 13-0 record and 29-0 in MMA. He will go down as arguably the most dominant fighter in MMA history.

Andy is a multimedia reporter, interviewer, writer, with a strong focus on Irish MMA. Co-host of The Auld Triangle podcast. Follow Andy on Twitter (@andyste123) and Instagram (@andystevensonMMA).

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