Unbeaten Khabib to retire after UFC 254 win over Gaethje

Russian won by submission in second round of first fight since the death of his father

Khabib Nurmagomedov stopped Justin Gaethje in the second round  of their UFC 254 bout. Photograph: Josh Hedges/Getty

Khabib Nurmagomedov stopped Justin Gaethje in the second round of their UFC 254 bout. Photograph: Josh Hedges/Getty

 

Khabib Nurmagomedov called time on his mixed martial arts career following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje on Saturday, leaving his gloves in the centre of the octagon to fulfil a promise to his mother.

He wore down his opponent with his constant forward pressure before mounting Gaethje and locking him in a triangle choke that rendered the American unconscious to extend his record to 29 wins and no defeats.

Many questioned if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the death of his father Abdulmanap in July from complications caused by Covid-19 at the age of 57.

His father had schooled him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear naked choke in another successful title defence.

“I talked to my mother three days (ago). She didn’t want me to go fight without (my) father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this,” an emotional Khabib said in the octagon.

“It was my last fight. I know only one thing I want from the UFC - you guys have to put me number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, because I deserve this.”

After a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins in his 29 victories, few would argue with the 32-year-old who has now left the cage for the last time.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.