As he stood up, he took off his gloves and left them on the carpet.
“This is my last fight in the UFC,” he said.
His father and trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in July of complications from COVID-19.
This one was for Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ZZdywrlE5e
– UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Nurmagomedov said in the post-fight interview that he spoke to his mother for three days before deciding to accept the fight against Gaethje on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
“I won’t be back without my dad. I spoke to my mother. She doesn’t know how I fight without a father, but I promised this would be my last fight, and if I give my word I must follow her.
The American troubled the champion with kicks in the legs, but succumbed to a triangular choke in the second round as Nurmagomedov claimed to be the most dominant MMA fighter of all time with a 29-0 record.
Social media erupted in celebration and tribute following the news of Nurmagomedov’s victory and retirement.
Congratulations to the greatest champion of @ufc history. What a career, we are eternally grateful for the time we spent with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and unchallenged. #weareaka #eaglesmma #fathersplan #heissoproud @TeamKhabib pic.twitter.com/uXjiT34JuV
– Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 24, 2020
I want to congratulate Khabib on an exceptional career. I know he made his father and millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.
– BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2020
Good performance @TeamKhabib.
I will continue.
Respect and condolences for your father once again. To you and your family.
Yours, The McGregors.
– Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
Unreal. One of the greatest performances I have ever seen. 🙏🏼 #KhabibTime
– Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) October 24, 2020
If it’s really the end @TeamKhabib Thank you. You, your legacy and your father will live forever in MMA history. Out of my control measures forced me to leave FI early, but I watched from home like a true MMA fan. Thank you for your contribution, congratulations and happy retirement.
– Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) October 24, 2020