“Today is my last fight in the UFC,” said UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
An understandably emotional Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after another dominant title performance in the main event of UFC 254.
It was a difficult summer for the Russian mixed martial artist as he lost his father, Abdulmanap, on July 3rd after a battle with COVID-19.
His father was one of his coaches and they had an incredibly close relationship that everyone in the MMA world knew about. Coming into Saturday, Nurmagomedov came in with a heavy heart and fought tremendously to honor his late father.
The first round of the fight saw a battle on the feet. Gaethje landed clean leg kicks, while Nurmagomedov was connected with solid jabs and even had the confidence to throw a jumping knee later in the round. As Nurmagomedov continued to walk down Gaethje, he scored the takedown to close the first round.
The second round saw Nurmagomedov score a takedown early and transition to mount with ease. Swiftly, he set up the triangle choke and rolled to his back to sink it in, causing Gaethje to fall unconscious.
Nurmagomedov immediately broke down in tears following the fight and announced his retirement in his post-fight interview.
Nurmagomedov caps off a legendary career with a 29-0 record. He won 19 of his fights by finish, eight by knockout and 11 by submission. His resumé sees wins over a plethora of lightweight greats such as Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.