Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world as he announced his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Given the tons of talks regarding retiring at 30-0, ‘The Eagle’ took everyone by surprise with the announcement. His former rival Conor McGregor gave his reaction to the unexpected news.
McGregor paid his respects to Khabib’s late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who passed away earlier this year. However, the former double champ also announced that he will continue his fighting career.
“Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors,” Conor McGregor wrote on Twitter.
Khabib and Conor had a heated rivalry back in 2018. What involved a dolly being thrown at a bus subsequently culminated into the biggest UFC pay-per-view of all time. The two met each other at UFC 229. The Russian forced McGregor to submit in the fourth round.
There have been talks about a rematch between the two. However, Khabib has always been very dismissive about it. His argument has always been that he won fair and square against ‘The Notorious One’. Therefore, a rematch felt unwarranted for him.
Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 headliner
The fight between the lightweight juggernauts was being dubbed as the fight of the year. The first round certainly lived up to the expectations. However, once the fight went to the ground, Gaethje had no answers to Khabib’s wrestling.
The undefeated fighter locked in a triangle and forced Gaethje to tap out. However, as two judges scored the first round for the interim champ, Gaethje joined McGregor as the only fighter to win a round against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
With Khabib out of the picture, the 155-pound title will be up for grabs in, arguably, the most top-heavy division of the promotion. Multiple contenders such as Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and the newly signed Michael Chandler will want the elusive belt.