Khabib Nurmagomedov capped off his stellar career at UFC 254, finishing Justin Gaethje with a triangle choke and retiring in the cage.
The fight everyone was waiting for took place in the main event of UFC 254 as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje battled in their lightweight unification bout. Nurmagomedov may only have two title defenses, but he is widely regarded as the best fighter in the world thanks to his 28-0 professional record and his utter dominance since joining the UFC.
Gaethje is hands down the most exciting fighter in the world, taking home post-fight bonuses in all seven of his UFC fights. Since losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez, Gaethje has been on a tear, knocking out his last four opponents and taking home the interim lightweight title with a stellar performance against Tony Ferguson.
The fight got off to a cautious start, with both killers sizing each other up. Gaethje landed a leg kick and began a competitive sequence. Khabib was pressuring with brief clinches and jabs while Gaethje was winging bombs that weren’t finding the target. Khabib began working his jab with success and had Gaethje moving quickly along the fence. Gaethje cracked Khabib with a left hook. Khabib went to a flying knee then collapsed on Gaethje’s legs with a double-leg and got a takedown. He moved into mount and attempted a bicep slicer as time expired.
A pair of left hands caught Khabib in the the second round. Gaethje went to his patented leg kicks and one seemed to hurt Khabib. Another leg kick came in and Khabib turned it into a takedown, lifting Gaethje up while on his knees and swiftly taking Gaethje’s back. Khabib got into mount and began to work for the triangle. He rolled to his back and choked Gaethje unconscious.
With the death of his father on his mind, Khabib was immediately brought to tears after the victory. He promptly retired after the fight, explaining that he did not want to go through another fight camp without his father, promising his mother that this would be his last fight.
Khabib Nurmagomedov retires as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Justin Gaethje by Technical Submission (Triangle Choke) in Round 2 (1:34)