Khabib Nurmagomedov called time on his mixed martial arts career following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje Saturday, leaving his gloves in the center of the octagon to fulfil a promise to his mother.
He wore down his opponent with his constant forward pressure before mounting Gaethje and locking him in a triangle choke that rendered the American unconscious to extend his record to 29 wins and no defeats.
Many questioned if he would have the heart for the fight against Gaethje following the death of his father Abdulmanap in July from complications caused by Covid-19 at the age of 57.
His father had schooled him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear naked choke in another successful title defence.
After a stunning run of 13 wins in eight years and a professional record featuring eight knockouts and 11 submission wins in his 29 victories, few would argue with the 32-year old who has now left the cage for the last time.