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Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from MMA after win over Justin Gaethje to retain lightweight title

Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his shock retirement from UFC after defending his immaculate record against Justin Gaethje.

Khabib retained his lightweight world championship after successfully defeating Gaethje at UFC 254, but then shocked the world by announcing his retirement.

Laying the gloves on the canvas, the Russian fighter shocked the world in announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts.

The unbeaten star said in the immediate aftermath of his victory over Gaethje: ‘Thank you for these guys, these guys with me, been with my father for more than 10 years. All my team, AKA with coach Javier, I love him so much, all my team.

‘Today, I want to say, this was my last fight. No way am I going to come here without my father. It was first time, after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin.

‘I talk with my mother three days, she don’t want that I go fight without father. I promised her, it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here.

‘I know only one thing I want from UFC, you guys have to put me on No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, because I deserve this.

‘UFC undisputed, undefeated lightweight champion, 13-0, 13 in UFC, 29 in all pro MMA career. I think I deserve it.

‘One more thing, I want to say thank you Lorenzo Fertitta, thank you Dana, Hunter, all guys. Thank you so much, and of course I don’t forget about Joe Silva who signed me here in UFC. Joe Silva, thank you. All this UFC team, everybody around the world, this whole pandemic stuff, they are doing great show.

‘Thank you so much Justin. Justin, 2016 I remember when I cut weight, you helped me a lot. Thank you brother. I know you are a great man, I know how you take care of your people. I know a lot of things about you, take care of your parents, because one day, it’s going to happen something. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you never know.

‘Today is my last fight here in UFC. It was my father’s dream. Dustin and Conor are going to fight January, I choke them out, both of them. I’m not interested in this.’

Fighting for the first time since the loss of his father, Khabib did make his dad proud, who was no doubt watching down on his son beaming with pride and joy.

It was the second round in which Khabib got the job done, taking Gaethje to the mat and then locking him in a triangle choke before the challenger had nothing left to do but to tap out.

Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is the lead Combat Sports writer for AfroBallers. He is an expert in Boxing, Mixed Martial Art and Wrestling reportage. Isaac is a journalist with newfound love for athlete management and digital media.

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