27th October 2020
The UFC lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from mixed martial after his victory against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 for his third successful title defence, having previously beaten Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
This was his first fight without his life-time coach and father who died from coronavirus earlier this year.
In a post-match interview, he made the emotional announcement.
"Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC called 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.
"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 will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this."
McGregor took to social media on Saturday night to congratulate Nurmagomedov and show his support to his decision.
He twitted "Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors."
UFC president Dana White revealed after the fight that Nurmagomedov had competed with a broken foot and that by retiring with a 29-0 record he has to be considered as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.