Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Coach Stunned Over Retirement
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s head coach wasn’t expecting his fighter to hang up his gloves just yet.
Nurmagomedov entered the Octagon on October 24 for UFC 254. Few could’ve expected that it would be his last fight. While retirement seemed to loom for “The Eagle,” many were convinced that he would at least try to go 30-0 before hanging up his gloves. It turns out that wasn’t the case.
Nurmagomedov had a stellar performance against Justin Gaethje, who held the interim lightweight gold going into their title unification bout. Nurmagomedov had Gaethje back peddling like no other fighter has been able to do. It ultimately led to a second-round submission victory for Nurmagomedov via triangle choke. Nurmagomedov announced his retirement right after the fight.
During his appearance on Submission Radio, American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez admitted he was stunned when Nurmagomedov announced his retirement (h/t BJPenn.com).
“I learned about it when he was giving the speech. My jaw dropped. I was like, ‘what?’ I mean, (Khabib Nurmagomedov) played the best poker face on the planet. All of this was a total shock to me. I was going, oh man, father’s plan. Great. But mother’s plan works in the end as his mother’s wish was for him not to fight without his father, and that’s what he did. And, you know, respect.”
Nurmagomedov cited his mother as the reason for his retirement. His mother requested that Khabib refrains from fighting again without his father, Abdulmanap. Nurmagomedov’s father passed away earlier this year.
With the victory over Gaethje, Nurmagomedov ends his pro MMA career with a record of 29-0. He has beaten the likes of Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Rafael dos Anjos to name a few.