Gaethje vs Nurmagomedov Full Fight UFC 254 Part A
- Posted on Dec 08, 2020
- 6097 views
Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted to make a statement Saturday at UFC 254 and show the world that he is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Nurmagomedov not only made that statement, but also one that was more momentous. After submitting Gaethje (triangle choke) at 1:34 of the second round to become the undisputed lightweight champion and complete his mission of becoming the best in the sport, Nurmagomedov shockingly announced he was retiring from mixed martial arts.
He said that after he accepted the Gaethje fight, he had a conversation with his mother about stepping away. She wanted him not to continue fighting without his father, Abdulmanap, who died in July of COVID-19 complications, by his side. Khabib wanted to abide by her wishes.
"Today I want to say this was my last fight," Nurmagomedov told Jon Anik in his postfight interview inside the Octagon inside the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on the UFC's Fight Island. "No way I'm going to come here without my father. It was the first time after what happened with my father.
"When UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother. She didn't want me to fight without father. But I promised her it's going to be my last fight and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here."
Nurmagomedov shied away from his wrestling in the first round and decided to trade on the feet with Gaethje. He applied constant pressure by stalking Gaethje and throwing nonstop at the former interim champion. Gaethje started to come around and attacked Nurmagoemdov's left leg with kicks. Just when Gaethje got comfortable, Nurmagomedov took him down with 40 seconds remaining. He nearly pulled off an armbar submission but ran out of time.
Gaethje continued the assault on Nurmagomedov's leg to begin the second round. "The Highlight" threw a thunderous kick to buckle Nurmagomedov. But Khabib exemplified why he's the best fighter in the world. Right when Gaethje spun around from throwing the kick, Nurmagomedov ran at him and immediately took him down.
Nurmagomedov looked to be attempting another armbar. Instead, the Dagestan native kicked the legs and locked in the triangle. Gaethje lifted Nurmagomedov in the air and slammed him, but the champion didn't let go. He continued to squeeze, and after Gaethje tapped out multiple times, referee Jason Herzog noticed that he had passed out.
Nurmagomedov exits the sport as the first fighter in UFC history to retire undefeated for their career (29-0) and in the UFC (13-0).