By: Aydan Damkoehler
It is now official that the Dagestan , Russian native Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired. After several months of the UFC president Dana White trying to convince Nurmagomedov to fight again, it is finally set in stone that Nurmagomedov is officially retired with a record of 29-0, one of the best in UFC history. After his victory against Gaethje last October, Nurmagomedov announced that it was his last fight, but the UFC president Dana White wanted him to fight once more. Dana White does not usually talk people out of retirement, but when it’s Khabib Nurmagomedov in his prime, he had to do whatever it would take to get Nurmagomedov back into the octagon. White tried getting Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight again after UFC 257 which had matchups of Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler, and Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier. Another fight with Conor Mcgregor would surely be one of the biggest fights in history, as their last fight with each other was a big one. McGregor vs Poirier 2 was at one point trending more than the Khabib vs McGregor fight. The fight between them sold the most pay per views with 2.4 million. White said, “If these fighters do anything spectacular, Khabib would come back.” After the fights however, Nurmagomedov told Dana White “you know none of these guys are on the same level as me”. Khabib Nurmagomedov made a promise to his mom that he would never fight again, and it was announced on March 19th, that Nurmagomedov is officially retired. Dana White tweeted, “I guess 29-0 is good enough.”
Khabib (Left) submitting Gaethje (Right) via triangle choke
Nurmagomedov emotional before announcing his
retirement at UFC 254
After the official announcement, UFC fighters Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor were giving Nurmagomedov crap for retiring in the prime of his career. McGregor made fun of him saying he has no power, “don’t forget it teddy bear”. Tony Ferguson said Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t retire undefeated because he ducked him. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were supposed to fight, but the match between them has been cancelled five times. This was a shame to a lot of the fans, because most people thought Tony Ferguson would be one of Khabib’s hardest challenges of his career. Ferguson mocked Khabib saying his record should be “29-1”. Nurmagomedov replied to Ferguson telling him to focus on his next big fight that is coming up. Not in any way does it seem like the trash talk has been getting under Nurmagomedov’s skin.
Nurmagomedov (Left) facing of with McGregor (Right)
At the weigh in at UFC 229
Khabib Nurmagomedov was ranked number one in the men’s pound for pound rankings and was the undisputed lightweight champion. He had three title defenses won against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Jusin Gaethje. Nurmagomedov will without a doubt go down as one of the greatest fighters of all time. After Nurmagomedov officially retired, Jon Jones is now the men’s #1 pound for pound fighter. Since he left, a title shot for the vacant lightweight title will be against Charles Oliveira (#3) vs Michael Chandler (#4). It will be the main event for UFC 262 on May 15th. Just because Nurmagomedov is done fighting in the UFC, doesn’t mean the fans won’t see him again.
Nurmagomedov is now coaching several fighters who have been impressive in the UFC. Khabib has been coaching Islam Makhachev alongside with his father. Makhachev is 19-1 in his professional mixed martial arts career and is making himself a household name. Makhachev shows a lot of similarities with Khabib, showing phenomenal submission finishes, and is the same height and weight as Khabib. If you are a fan of Khabib, you’ll definitely still won't miss out on his style of fighting, as his prodigies are looking to take over the UFC.