Khabib Nurmagomedov's Coach Admits Retirement Speech Was 'Total Shock'
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Khabib Nurmagomedov's coach Javier Mendez has spoken of his 'total shock' at the UFC lightweight champion retiring after his win over Justin Gaethje.
Khabib sent Gaethje to sleep with a triangle choke in the second round of their UFC 254 clash on Saturday.
His performance was dominant and imperious but Khabib sent further shockwaves throughout the MMA world moments after when he announced his retirement.
Nurmagomedov's head trainer Mendez says he couldn't believe it when his fighter revealed his plans to the world.
"I learned about it when he was giving the speech. My jaw dropped," Mendez told Submission Radio.
"I was like, what? I mean, he played the best poker face on the planet. All of this was a total shock to me."
Khabib explained that it was his mother who pleaded with him to stop fighting without the guidance of his father, who died earlier this year.
"I was going, oh man, father's plan, great, but mother's plan works in the end," Mendez added.
"As his mother's wish was for him not fight without his father, and that's what he did.
"And, you know, respect. This sport is not a longevity sport, it's come in, come out. And he's coming out at the time that he feels is the right time for himself and his family."
Khabib finished his UFC career as one of the greatest the sport has ever seen, with notable big wins coming against Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
He also retired as the only UFC champion in history with an undefeated record.
"Today, I want to say it was my last fight. ... If I give my word, I have to follow this."
Khabib Nurmagomedov announces his retirement after #UFC254 pic.twitter.com/Nidgf7iAMA
- ESPN (@espn) October 24, 2020
But Mendez would have liked the Dagestani fighter to try and reach the 30-0 milestone.
"Obviously me myself, I would have liked him to go 30-0 like his father wished, but he loves his mother so much and his family, that he decided that no, it's time," he continued.
"And financially he's set. So, he's not a greedy man. And you guys know as well as I know, that if he hung out one more fight, it would have been a monster pay day.
"But obviously family means more to him than money in everything he does."
Topics: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Khabib, UFC