However, arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time is officially retired after Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White confirmed it on Twitter on Thursday.
The 32-year-old finished with a perfect career record of 29-0 and a UFC record of 13-0, and also retired as the lightweight champion.
Nurmagomedov’s father and coach, Abdulmanap, died in July 2020 after complications from Covid-19. Nurmagomedov said he spoke with his mother for three days before deciding to accept the fight with Gaethje.
An excited Nurmagomedov said after their July fight: “Today, this was my last fight. No way am I going to come here without my father.”
Despite announcing his retirement, White had reportedly held out hope that the Dagestan fighter could return to the Octagon.
“Khabib is retired and he doesn’t want to stop the division,” White told ESPN via text message. “Tonight was our last meeting and he’s retired.”