After fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje during UFC 254 on Saturday, he dropped surprising news by announcing that the match would be the last in his UFC career.
Following his victory, Nurmagomedov said: “This was my last fight. There’s no way I’m going to come here without my father. … After what happened with my father — when UFC called me about Justin — I talked with my mother [for] three days, ‘should I go fight without my father?’ I promised her it was gonna be my last fight. And if I give my word, I have to follow it.” Nurmagomedov lost his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, in July due to COVID-19 complications. The coach had been placed in a medically-induced coma in May after reportedly contracting pneumonia, and doctors diagnosed him with the coronavirus while he was in the hospital. Nurmagomedov also later underwent heart surgery for a preexisting further complicated by the virus. Nurmagomedov’s father passed away as he was stuck in Russia due to a travel ban.
The undefeated fighter had a bout scheduled with Tony Ferguson, but it fell through and Gaethje stepped to secure the interim lightweight title. He then issued a challenge to Nurmagomedov, who ultimately met on Saturday as the main event of UFC 254. Nurmagomedov secured the victory during the second of five rounds. then immediately announced his retirement from the UFC.
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