Khabib "The Eagle" Nurmagomedov announces his shock retirement
The sporting world was shaken to its very core after Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC Lightweight Champion returned to his hometown Dagestan on Tuesday and announced his retirement from the game.
Khabib made the decision after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at Flash Forum in Dubai.
He then announced an end to his journey in an intense and emotional interview with UFC commentator Jon Anik.
Nurmagomedov fought for the first time in the ring since his father’s demise in the summer and he also revealed that his decision was primarily because of his promise to his mother that he would not continue his career as Abdulmanap (father) is no longer present to be his head coach, mentor and best friend.
Khabib spoke to a few more reporters after the decision where he said, “Of course Dana (White), (UFC President) wants me to fight and generate revenue. I can make money myself. I’m at the peak of my career and can fight for large purses, but I made this decision and I think this is the best time."
"Not everyone can retire at their peak, but I know that in a year, two, or five I’d have to face that decision again. I did enough in the sport to be considered the best.”
He has officially vacated the belt but has not made any comments on how UFC should make fights for the title next. “The Eagle” also hopes for a future 155-pound title shot but it depends mainly on teammate Islam Makhachev.
“Life goes on, and our MMA academy is still running. Islam Makhachev has got a fight on November 14 in Las Vegas against a former lightweight champion (Rafael dos Anjos). It’s a major event for our team. Like my father said when I leave there’ll be another champion."
"There won’t be another guy like me (Khabib). It’ll be hard to repeat what I did. We are planning for Islam to win his fight and fight again before Ramadan to become a contender for the belt. Then in next year in September or October, he’ll be here with his belt.”
According to Khabib’s acquaintances, his decision was supposed to be a very low-key one. He wanted to keep it with only himself and his mother. He also revealed that it was all planned before he agreed to fight Gaethje.
Khabib added, “Well, the emotions ran high. She knew but I don’t think she expected me to announce it right after the fight. I did promise her that this would be my last fight, so she was aware.”
Featured image credits- Essentiallysports