Khabib Nurmagomedov announces retirement from mixed martial arts after choking out Justin Gaethje
Abu Dhabi: Unbeaten light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from blended martial arts after preventing Justin Gaethje with a triangle choke early in the second one around at UFC 254 on Saturday night time.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) made the announcement right away after he impressively completed his first battle for the reason that loss of life of his father and lifetime trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in July. He had a center drawback exacerbated via COVID-19, and his son used to be triumph over via tears within the cage moments after choking Gaethje subconscious 1:34 into the second one around of his 3rd UFC identify protection.
“That is my final battle,” Nurmagomedov mentioned. “There is not any manner I will be again with out my father. I spoke to my mom. She do not know the way I battle with out father, however I promised it will be my final battle, and if I give my phrase, I’ve to apply it.”
The 32-year-old Nurmagomedov used to be lively with moves and with grappling in opposition to Gaethje (22-3), the harmful brawler who had knocked out 4 consecutive elite combatants whilst profitable the UFC’s meantime light-weight identify.
After spending the primary around in large part buying and selling punches and kicks with the competitive Gaethje, Nurmagomedov used his unprecedented wrestling talents to take down Gaethje early in the second one around after which labored into place for the completing choke.
Gaethje gave the impression to faucet out no less than two times prior to the referee spotted and stopped the bout, through which time Gaethje used to be subconscious. He bounced up temporarily and shared a second of mutual appreciate with the dominant Russian champion.
“I do know he used to be in a nasty spot, however whether or not he used to be or now not, he did what he had to do,” Gaethje mentioned. “I do know his father is so proud.”
Additionally at UFC 254, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker made his case for some other identify shot with a forged unanimous determination over fellow contender Jared Cannonier within the penultimate bout on Combat Island.
Nurmagomedov’s first battle in 13 months could be a suitable farewell for one of the dynamic competition in fresh MMA historical past. The Dagestan-born grappling specialist advanced a well-rounded sport below the tutelage of his father and a Bay Space-based MMA health club, culminating in his ascent to the UFC identify in 2018.
Nurmagomedov stopped Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in his subsequent two bouts prior to his yearlong absence from pageant. His victory over McGregor made him one of the crucial global’s most renowned battle sports activities athletes, and the UFC scheduled this pay-per-view display at an earlier-than-normal time to cater to his huge fan base in Russia and Europe.
However Nurmagomedov has spoken of retirement prior to, and his announcement showed he’s completed with the game after working via many of the UFC light-weight department.
“Dustin and Conor are going to battle in January,” Nurmagomedov mentioned, regarding the possible assembly between the previous contenders at UFC 257. “I choked them each out. I am not on this.”
Previous, Whittaker (22-5) gave a disciplined, lively efficiency with spectacular putting to earn his moment instantly UFC victory since shedding his identify to Israel Adesanya in past due 2019.
Capping his effort via shedding Cannonier with a mix halfway throughout the ultimate around, Whittaker received two of 3 rounds on each and every scorecard whilst soundly outstriking Cannonier (13-5), who took his first loss in just about 2 1/2 years.
Whittaker most probably earned an opportunity at a rematch with Adesanya with the victory, however he did not name out the champion after his bout, as an alternative expressing simplest pleasure about returning house to position up his circle of relatives’s Christmas tree. Whittaker withdrew from a bout with Cannonier scheduled for March in Las Vegas as a result of he felt burned out on MMA.
“I am more than happy it is far and wide,” Whittaker mentioned. “We were given the outcome we would have liked. Paintings’s finished, child. I am coming house.”
Previous within the display, Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov stopped Walt Harris with a kick to the chest and punches at the flooring 1:15 into the second one around. Flyweight Lauren Murphy additionally reinforced her case for a identify shot with a second-round stoppage of Liliya Shakirova via rear bare choke for her fourth instantly victory.
UFC 254 used to be the final of 5 presentations in a month within the promotion’s safe bubble on Yas Island. The UFC, which paused pageant for simplest 8 weeks early within the coronavirus pandemic, returns to its homeland subsequent week to start out a chain of no less than 5 consecutive presentations on its company campus in Las Vegas.