After defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 to defend his lightweight title, Nurmagomedov announced he would retire with a perfect 29-0 career record and 13-0 UFC record.
“Today, this was my last fight,” he said. “Ain’t no way I’m going to come here without my father.”
Nurmagomedov’s father and coach, Abdulmanap, died in July after complications from Covid-19. Nurmagomedov said he talked with his mother for three days before deciding to accept the fight with Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov’s contemporaries have praised him since he shocked the UFC world.
“I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father, along with millions of fans around the world, incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.”
“Getting emotional watching this. Wow. Khabib respecting his mother and following through with his word. What a man. Deffo a top 5 goat of MMA. Happy retirement.”
“She don’t (want me) to go fight without father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight,” he said in a post-match interview. “And if I give my word, I have to follow this.”
He also said it was his first time fighting without his father.