'Mission accomplished': Khabib Nurmagomedov says as he lands in Russia

Following his elevation to pound-for-pound No 1 after UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov declared 'mission accomplished' after landing back in Russia.

In emotional scenes on Fight Island, the 29-0 lightweight king retired immediately after his win over Justin Gaethje and spoke about his decision to touch down in his homeland.

He said, "I was ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter today so that the mission is completed. What else needs to be done? Money to make? I will always be capable of doing that."

"They all react differently. Dana [White], of course, wants me to keep fighting and generating revenue."

"I can make money. I'm at the height of my career, but I made this decision, and I think it's the best time to make it for me."

"Not everyone can retire at their peak, but I know that I'd have to face that decision again in a year, two, or five. In sport, I've done enough to be considered the best."

Having promised his mother this would be his final fight without his late father Abdulmanap to guide him, Khabib decided to call it a day.

After Saturday night's second-round submission win over Gaethje, he was visibly overcome and in tears.

A powerful cocktail of emotions was created by the combination of grief, relief, and ecstasy and Khabib 's coach Javier Mendez earlier cast doubt on whether his fighter would remain in retirement.

"Look at his emotions, he was in tears, he was all over the place," Mendez told the Sun. He said what he said, I know, but he was extremely emotional and time will tell whether or not it's going to stick.

"I don't know, but he would always say when I was there, Why are you guys talking about retirement? I'm only 32."

So how is it that you're retired all of a sudden? What else can explain why? His feelings.

However, at the moment, Dagestani seems set in his decision and on Wednesday posted his own tribute to Mendez on Instagram.

"Khabib wrote alongside a snap of the boss of the American Kickboxing Academy with the Papakha hat on and a belt around his waist:" Our connection will always be fixed in my heart coach, you have always been a great inspiration for me since I first came to AKA. Love the coach you are.'

With the news of Khabib 's retirement in his prime at the age of 32 sending shockwaves through MMA, there will no doubt be plenty of other opportunities.

Umar Kremlev, head of the Russian Boxing Federation, said: 'I respect Khabib, he's a great sportsman, I will always support him,' said Kremlev.

As for his (retirement) decision, he left beautifully, unbeaten.

'A boxing bout for a charity or exhibition? If he wants that, we are ready to organize it.'

Seeing which direction he chooses to go will be fascinating if his fighting days are indeed over for good.

Publish : 2020-10-28 22:16:00
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