UFC President Dana White has given his response to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement announcement.
Nurmagomedov was in action for the final time this past Saturday, October 24. “The Eagle” faced Justin Gaethje in a lightweight title unification fight. Nurmagomedov didn’t waste any time putting the pressure on Gaethje. He utilized his jab and even went for running knee strikes before taking his opponent down.
In the second round, Nurmagomedov scored a takedown and ended up in the full mount position. From there, Nurmagomedov transitioned into a triangle choke. Gaethje tapped but referee Jason Herzog missed it, so he ended up going unconscious and the fight was stopped.
When Nurmagomedov spoke to Jon Anik, he laid his gloves down in the middle of the Octagon. The undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion announced his retirement.
Speaking to reporters following UFC 254, White said he doesn’t expect Nurmagomedov to think twice about retiring (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“I do (think he’ll stay retired). This guy’s been through – we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight. I’m hearing rumors of other things that I didn’t know about that you guys will hear about when he comes out later. Apparently, he was in the hospital – he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone that was broken in his foot. (He) never told anybody walking around. He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he is the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Seriously, you have to start putting him up there in GOAT status.”
Nurmagomedov cited a promise to his mother as the reason for his decision to retire. “The Eagle” said he promised his mother that he wouldn’t fight any longer without his father past the Gaethje bout. Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, passed away earlier this year.