Khabib's official retirement was confirmed by Dana White on Friday, after the promoter had a final talk with the 29-0 Russian about his future.
So naturally Nurmagomedov's rival McGregor had to say goodbye in typical fashion on Instagram: with a post that both took credit for making Khabib a star and with a huge dig at his rival's decision to only conquer one weight class.
Under a photo of Khabib and Connor during their earlier, friendlier days (the pair actually had a respectful relationship until things turned nasty in the build-up to their 2018 lightweight title fight) 'The Notorious' had his say.
"Happy retirement kid, smell ya later," he began. "Never forget who came in the game and made ye. Straight from my big Irish balls.
"Remember folks, if you hate cutting weight so much, all you have to do is move up a division. God bless."
Conor McGregor wishes Khabib a happy retirement in typical Conor McGregor fashion :joy: pic.twitter.com/j7xstj91in- MMA Eejit :flag_ie: (@MMAEejit) March 19, 2021
'The Eagle' struggled to make the 155lb limit by the end of his career - particularly for his final fight against Justin Gaethje, which involved a brutal weight cut.
And some have suggested that one argument against Khabib being the GOAT, when it comes to mixed martial arts, is that he was only a champion in one weight class and didn't move up to reach the top of another division.
Something which, coincidentally, the 32-year McGregor has done - becoming UFC champion at featherweight, then lightweight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has released footage of his weight cut for #UFC 254.- Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) December 11, 2020
We've known for a long time that the cut is absolutely gruelling for him.
Seeing it, however, really rams it home. It's difficult viewing.
:movie_camera: via @TeamKhabib on YouTube pic.twitter.com/UzGo0ZHDTD
McGregor's other point is, simply, that he takes credit for making Khabib a superstar. McGregor has been the biggest name in MMA for several years and his unsuccessful challenge of Nurmagomedov - and all the bad blood around their fight - undoubtedly boosted the Russian's profile and subsequent star power.
That said, most fighters would probably still actually have the win in the Octagon rather than bragging rights when it comes to superstardom.
Conor McGregor has spoken on Khabib's official retirement :point_down: pic.twitter.com/yCKTLm2UUW- Lewis Simpson MMA (@LGS_MMA) March 19, 2021
But at least McGregor did start with a "happy retirement" - and no doubt he wants to be first in the queue, should Khabib ever change his mind and decide to return to combat sports once again.
All imagery: PA Images/Instagram
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