UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired — and no, you’re not having deja vu.
The 29-0 lightweight champion is going out with his undefeated career intact, the first man to retire at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings, and it’s just taken nearly six months for UFC boss Dana White to go through the five stages of grief.
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After his last bout against Justin Gaethe in October, Khabib revealed that it was his last fight as he triangle choked the American out in the second round.
“This was my last fight. No way I can come here without my father. When UFC call me with Justin, I talk with my mother for three days. I promise it will be my last fight. If I give my word, I have to follow this,” Khabib said at the time.
He said he had no interest in fighting either Conor McGregor or number one lightweight contender Dustin Poirier adding “I’ve choked out both of them. I’m not interested in this”.
Much of the world accepted the news but White couldn’t bring himself to giving up the dream of convincing Khabib to come back.
It didn’t stop Khabib from trolling McGregor after Poirier won the January fight between the two.
Khabib will retire as the champ.Source:Getty Images
White was desperate to push the narrative that Khabib would return to chase the 30-0 against McGregor as it was the biggest fight possible, especially after the events of UFC 229, when the fight finished in chaos.
But White has finally reluctantly accepted that Khabib is done taking to social media to reveal he is “officially retired”.
29-0 it is.
He is 💯 officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @TeamKhabib thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend. pic.twitter.com/QeoSP12zw2
Khabib also took to Instagram writing a farewell statement to the UFC.
“It was a good dinner with some great people,” he wrote.
“@danawhite thank you so much brother and the entire @ufc team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many live forever because of this sport.
“Dana – I’ll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you.
“Today there was a real conversation between real men.
“Also thank you to all team, sparing partners and all fans.
“I hope you will accept my decision and understand me.”
It’s not uncommon for UFC fighters to retire and return but Khabib has stood by his word.
And White told Yahoo Sports recently about chasing Khabib that: “I was just doing my job, doing what I should be doing”.
The life of a sports administrator.Source:AFP
But all the fans wanted to do was tear White to shred for taking so long to accept what most of the rest of the sport had already accepted Khabib’s retirement.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has officially retired, per Dana White. They met earlier this week in Las Vegas, Nurmagomedov reiterated his stance that he wanted to be done fighting and now White is standing down in his attempts to convince him to return to action any time soon.
Dana White says Khabib is retired.
Look forward to his next fight!
I’m sorry. I’m really just blindsided by this. Came out of nowhere. I think I need a moment.
Can’t believe Khabib retired. No-one could have seen that coming https://t.co/4dMJ0OV5Lj
I miss covering fights so much but good lord I don’t miss covering the crap around this sport.
Khabib retired six months ago. That was true then, it’s true now. What Dana says has absolutely nothing to do with it. https://t.co/aNVscS7TF8
Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially retired, UFC president Dana White announced Thursday night. Nurmagomedov was the best lightweight in MMA history. One of the greatest fighters to ever live. An absolute legend. It was an honor to watch him and cover his magnificent career.
As for Khabib, every superlative thrown his way was deserved … you know, back in October, when he retired and everyone except one person acknowledged it.
It means the lightweight belt will finally be up for grabs, with number one contender Poirier and number two Justin Gaethe bypassed with Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler fighting for the belt at UFC 262.
Brazilian Oliveira has been in the UFC since 2010 but he’s won his last eight fights to be thrust into the championship reckoning.
Michael Chandler had a hell of a UFC debut.Source:Getty Images
Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler, who stunned Dan Hooker in his UFC debut with a first round KO on the co-main of the McGregor-Poirier card, will get his shot at UFC gold with in his second fight.
See you at the top! #ufc262
Let’s go! #ufc262
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