Updated: October 25, 2020, 11:11:27 am
Khabib Nurmagomedov put his gloves in the octagon after announcing his retirement from UFC254. (Source: UFC / Twitter)
Khabib Nurmagomedov ended his mixed martial arts career after beating Justin Gaethje in the second round on Saturday and left his gloves in the center of the octagon to fulfill a promise to his mother.
He wore down his opponent with his constant forward pressure before climbing Gaethje and locking him in a triangular throttle that knocked the American unconscious, extending his record to 29 wins and no losses.
Many wondered if he would have the heart to fight Gaethje after his father Abdulmanap passed away in July due to complications from COVID-19 at the age of 57.
His father had trained him in martial arts from a young age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib Dustin Poirier was suffocating, on that occasion with a back naked choke in another successful title defense.
“I spoke to my mother three days ago. She didn’t want me to fight without (my) father, but I promised her it would be my last fight and if I give my word I have to follow, ”said an emotional khabib in the octagon.
READ: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father dies at the age of 57 after fighting coronavirus
“It was my last fight. I only know one thing I want from the UFC – you have to make me the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve it. ”
After an impressive run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record of eight knockout and eleven entry wins in his 29 victories, few would argue with the 32-year-old, who has now left the cage for the last time.
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