New Delhi : Khabib Nurmagomedov has drawn curtains on his mixed martial arts career after retaining his lightweight title at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. On Saturday, Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje with a second-round triangle choke submission to claim a 29th win and unify the 155lb title. Following his victory, the 32-year-old said he had honoured the memory of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, who died in July following complications arising from Covid-19. “It was my last fight. There’s no way I’m going to come here without my father,” BBC Sport quoted him as saying after the bout.
“It was the first time after what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother for three days. She didn’t want me to fight without father, but I promised her it was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here,” he added.Many believed that Nurmagomedov would chase his 30th professional win before contemplating retirement. But following the win, he asked his team-mates to cut his gloves off before quitting at the Octagon. Recently, India’s MMA star Ritu Phogat had stated that she is hugely motivated by Nurmagomedov. “I have been very motivated by him and I watch a lot of his videos. I like his fighting style a lot and I am inspired by him. I aspire to be like him some day,” Phogat said ahead of her fight against Cambodian MMA sensation Nou Srey Pov at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on October 30 in Singapore.