Undefeated UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world with his sudden retirement from the sport, which sparked praise from all over the world and even from his long-time rival Conor McGregor.
Khabib reaffirmed to so many fans to why he is considered the greatest MMA fighter of all time after he returned to the cage for the first time in over a year on Sunday and submitted Justin Gaethje to defend his lightweight title at UFC 254.
‘DODGY AS F***’: Khabib's weigh-in controversy at UFC 254
The Dagestani locked in his formidable triangle choke during the second round, leaving his opponent no option but to tap.
Following the fight, the 29-0 champ announced he would retire from the sport.
Tributes flooded in for the champ, but many took notice of McGregor also wishing his long-time rival the best in retirement.
Khabib defeated McGregor back in 2018 and the bitter lead up to the fight prompted the Dagestani champ to jump towards the Irishman’s team in an infamous post-match spat.
But McGregor put the rivalry behind him and also reiterated his condolences to the Nurmagomedov family after the death of Khabib’s father.
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 (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
The UFC community were quick to heap praise on Khabib and many labelled him the greatest to ever have competed in the sport.
He’s definitely #1 pound for pound!! Congratulations on a great career #UFC254
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) October 24, 2020
Congratulations to the greatest champion in @ufc history. What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed. #weareaka #eaglesmma #fathersplan #heissoproud @TeamKhabib pic.twitter.com/uXjiT34JuV
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 24, 2020
— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) October 24, 2020
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) October 24, 2020
Khabib breaks down before retirement call
Khabib then broke down in tears in the middle of the octagon as he soaked up his victory, before dropping the bombshell news that he’s retiring.
“This was my last fight,” he said.
“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.”
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.