Khabib Nurmagomedov retires after choking out Justin Gaethje to retain UFC title

Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from fighting after needing less than five minutes to choke out Justin Gaethje and retain his UFC lightweight title.

The champion was defending his belt for the third time and edged a close first round in Abu Dhabi.

But once Nurmagomedov secured a takedown in the second round, he quickly locked in a triangle submission and his challenger tapped.

The 155lb king then fell to the canvas in tears as he remembered his late father before announcing he was quitting.

“Thank you to these guys with me, with my father more than 10 years,” he said. “Coach Javier I love him so much, all my team. Thank you.

“Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC comes to me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days. She didn’t want me to fight withpout father. And I said this is my last fight and I have given her my word.

“There is only one thing I want from UFC, to put me as No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC, greatest in world. I think I deserbe. I want to say thank you Dana, Fertita brothers. 

“Thank you so much Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close with your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. Thank you coach, thank you guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC. 

“It was my father’s dream. Dustin [Poirier] and Conor [McGregor] will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this.”

Gaethje, who was Nurmagomedov’s 29th victim, added: “I felt alive. That’s why I step in here… adrenaline, endorphins released. The only reason I stuck here was to give this main his praises. He is tough, he is so strong, he has made his father so proud.

“I fight for a living. The best thing about getting choked out is there’s nothing really consequential to your long term health. I’m ready for the next one whenever. I’m in good shape, I don’t want to get too far so six weeks, eight weeks [of recovery].”

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