UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov kneeled down and put his head in his hands. Tears streamed from his eyes. The weight he had been carrying for the past three months had been published. The typically stoic winner’s emotions got the better of him.
Nurmagomedov, one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts history, submitted Justin Gaethje — whom many said would be Nurmagomedov’s toughest test — via triangle choke at 1 minute, 34 seconds of the second round while fighting a broken foot Saturday at the main event of UFC 254 at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And he did it with a broken foot, based on UFC president Dana White.
This was Nurmagomedov’s first fight since his dad and head trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, expired in July in complications of COVID-19. And afterward, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from combined martial arts. Nurmagomedov, 32, said his mom did not desire him to compete without his father, but he told her this would be his last struggle.
“I assumed this was gonna be my last fight,” Nurmagomedov explained.
—“When I give my word, I must adhere to this.”
Nurmagomedov place the finishing touches on his career as he took Gaethje down, exerted the triangle choke, and cinched it in with Gaethje going completely unconscious. Nurmagomedov’s triangle-choke entry finish was just the third ever in UFC name history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The victory coordinated the UFC lightweight name.
Nurmagomedov said he has no interest in combating the winner of a proposed January bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Nurmagomedov stated he’s choked both guys out. He abandoned his gloves in the middle of the Octagon prior to departing.“Now, I wish to say that this was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov said.”
— It had been my dad’s dream. What else?”He later posted a message to Instagram thanking his dad:
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When ALLAH with you, nobody can broke you, nobody 👊⚔️ Thanks Father for everything, you teach all my life, may ALLAH grant you the highest Paradise 🤲 – Когда Всевышний с тобой ни что тебя не сломает, абсолютно ничто. Спасибо Отец за все, чему ты меня научил в этой жизни, дай Аллах тебе наивысшую ступень Рая 🤲
ESPN has Nurmagomedov rated as the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter on the planet, with Gaethje at No. 8. In the lightweight division, ESPN has Nurmagomedov and Gaethje in Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Nurmagomedov arrived since the UFC lightweight winner, also Gaethje was the interim champ.
“I understand he made his father so joyful,” Gaethje explained.
After the fight, Nurmagomedov thanked the UFC and many top executives, but he had one request. “I know only 1 thing that I need from UFC: You men have to [rank me since the] No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet since I deserve this”
The bout took place without enthusiasts at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, which the UFC has dubbed”Fight Island,” the advertising’s global home during the pandemic.
Gaethje won the initial round on the cards of judges Sal D’Amato and Ben Cartlidge. He landed hard mixes from the round, though Nurmagomedov maintained the pressure on, had a fantastic job, and landed a takedown at the end of the round. The round completed with Nurmagomedov working for an armbar submission. Judge Derek Cleary scored the first for Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) went in undefeated, and this victory ties him with BJ Penn and Benson Henderson with the most title defenses in UFC lightweight history (three). The native of Dagestan in Russia owns victories over former winners McGregor, Poirier, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Nurmagomedov is a perfect 13-0 in the UFC, just the second fighter following Anderson Silva to start a UFC career with 13 straight wins. Gaethje (22-3) was on a four-fight winning streak heading in and beat Tony Ferguson to acquire the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 249 in May.
The Arizona native had not been to a conclusion in six decades, together with nine KO/TKO victories at that moment. Gaethje, 31, is the former World collection of Fighting lightweight champion.”I felt alive,” Gaethje said. “That’s why I step in here, man.
I request my coaches if they’re ready to feel alive every time I step in here”White said he had been advised Nurmagomedov fought with a broken foot.”This guy was through, we’re blessed that we must see him struggle tonight,” White said.”
—–Apparently, he had been at the hospital and he broke his foot three weeks ago. He has two broken feet along with a bone in his foot that is broken. That is exactly what his corner told me.
“He’s the toughest human being on the planet. He’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on earth.”
“White said he also believes Nurmagomedov when he says he’s retired.”
“He’s the baddest motherf–er on Earth. “