By Emre Asikci
ISTANBUL (AA) – Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement Saturday after defeating American Justin Gaethje in the main event of the UFC 254.
Nurmagomedov successfully defended his UFC lightweight title and extended his unbeaten record to 29-0 with a second-round victory in Abu Dhabi.
The match lasted 01:34 seconds into the round.
“God give me everything, and with my father, I love you so much, it was my last fight, when UFC called me about Justin, I talked to my mother, I promised her it would be my last fight," Khabib said a post-fight interview.
"Thank you to all this UFC team, everybody around the world, thank you so much Justin, you helped me a lot. I know you're a great man. Today is my last fight in the UFC. It was my father, what else is there to prove? McGregor and Poirier fight in January, I choked out both of them, I'm not interested in this," he added.
Nurmagomedov, from the Russia’s northern Caucasus Republic of Dagestan, is the first Russian and first Muslim to win the UFC lightweight championship.
The 32-year-old beat Conor McGregor from Ireland in Las Vegas, Nevada in a 2018 lightweight title fight.
Nurmagomedov lost his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, to the coronavirus in July.