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Khabib made relatively light work of interim champion Gaethje on Fight Island on Saturday night, making the Highlight tap out inside two minutes of the second round.
It was an emotional win for the Russian, coming just months after his father died from Covid-19 complications following heart surgery, and in his post fight interview he revealed the win was his final fight.
McGregor, who has a nasty rivalry with the Eagle, which culminated in their fight in 2018, took to Twitter to pay respect to his former opponent, and Khabib's late father Abdulmanap.
Good performance @TeamKhabib.- Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
I will carry on.
Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family.
Yours sincerely, The McGregors.
The build up to their fight at UFC 229 had been nowhere near as cordial as the social media message McGregor sent following Saturday's main event.
It had started at UFC 223, where Khabib was fighting for the vacant lightweight title, McGregor turned up in New York and attacked the coach that his rival, and several other fighters were on.
From there the pair traded nasty and personal barbs in the press in the build up to their meeting, with McGregor including Khabib's father in several tirade.
The Russian took his record to 27-0 in the fourth round of their fight, tapping the former two weight champion out, before he jumped into the crowd and attacked a member of his opponents team.
At the same time members of his team entered the octagon and attacked McGregor. With both fighters ending up with lengthy bans from competing.
Earlier this week Khabib hadn't given any clues to the fact he was about to hang up his gloves and even said that McGregor could earn a shot at his lightweight title if he beat Dustin Poirier at 155lbs.
The Notorious is set to take on the Diamond, a man both he and Khabib have beaten previously, in January and a win for either would make them one of the favourites for the now vacated lightweight title.
It may actually have been the Irishman who was fighting for the title on Saturday, and not Gaethje. The American slammed McGregor earlier this week for the 'b*tch move' of fighting Donald Cerrone back in January and not him.
From there Gaethje took Tony Ferguson's spot when Khabib couldn't fight El Cucuy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the former interim champion shocking his opponent with a fifth round stoppage to earn the shot at Khabib.
Having been interim champion, Gaethje will almost certainly get another shot at becoming champion, it might be against McGregor if all goes well for the Irishman at the beginning of next year.
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