Byline by- Vinayak Heliwal
Khabib Nurmagomedov called time on his mixed martial arts career after choking out Justin Gaethje on Saturday, leaving his gloves in the center of the octagon to fulfill a promise to his mother.
Nurmagomedov, one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts history, submitted Justin Gaethje via triangle check at 1 minute 34 seconds of the second round while fighting with a broken foot in the main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Many used to question his mental state if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the death of his father Abdulmanap in July from COVID-19 Complications at the age of 57. His father used to train him in combat sports from an early age and used to be in his corner during the fights.
“I talked to my mother for three days (ago). She didn’t want me to go fight without (my) father, but I promised her it’s going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this,” an emotional Khabib said in the octagon.
“It was my last fight. I know only one thing I want from the UFC – you guys have to put me number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve this.”
Khabib had a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission win in his 29 victories.