Khabib Nurmagomedov Opens Up On Decision To Retire From MMA After UFC 254 Win
Khabib Nurmagomedov has opened up about his shock retirement from MMA after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
"I promised my mother this is going to be my last fight."- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 24, 2020
"I only want one thing from the UFC, I want to be number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world."@TeamKhabib announces his retirement from MMA. Wow :pray: #UFC254 pic.twitter.com/RFnCyu2X0W
'The Eagle' returned home on Tuesday after setting up base in the Middle East and he spoke to a group of reporters once landing.
He insists he's at peace with his decision and claims his mother was aware of his intentions.
"I can make money myself. I'm at the peak of my career and can fight for very 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 (years) I'd have to face that decision again. I did enough in the sport to be considered the best.
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"Today, I was ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, so the mission is accomplished. What else is there to do? Make money? I'll always be able to do that."
The 29-0 star continued: "Life goes on, and our MMA academy is still running. Islam Makhachev got a fight on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas against a former lightweight champion (Rafael dos Anjos). It's a major event or our team.
"Like my father said, when I leave there'll be another champion. There won't be another guy like me. 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 next year in September or October, he'll be here with his belt.
"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."
Nurmagomedov submitted Gaethje in the second round of their championship bout - his first contest since the tragic passing of his father and trainer Abdulmanap.
He has since become the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC with many fans and critics calling him the MMA GOAT.
Featured Image Credit: UFC/RT Sport
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