Why did Khabib Nurmagomedov retire?

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the UFC and holds the distinction of being the greatest lightweight champion in the organization. This article explores the career of this UFC legend and examines the reasons behind his decision to retire after a successful career spanning over a decade.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Career

Khabib Nurmagomedov, a two-time Combat Sambo World Champion, made his professional MMA debut at the age of 20 in September 2008 against Vusal Bayramov at CSFU: Champions League. After building an undefeated record of 16-0 in the Russian MMA circuit, Nurmagomedov signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in 2011.

He made a memorable entrance into the UFC with a third-round submission victory over Kamal Shalorus at UFC on FX 1 in January 2012. Following an impressive nine-fight winning streak, Nurmagomedov faced Al Iaquinta for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 223, winning the fight via unanimous decision and capturing the lightweight gold.

Nurmagomedov gained widespread recognition for defending his title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, which became the highest-selling pay-per-view event in UFC history, recording 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. He successfully defended his title two more times against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

Reasons for Retirement

After his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October 2020, where he won by second-round submission, Khabib Nurmagomedov utilized his post-fight interview to announce his retirement. He placed his gloves in the center of the cage, symbolizing the end of his remarkable career, and delivered an emotional speech explaining his decision.

The passing of Nurmagomedov’s father, the legendary coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, in July 2020 had a profound impact on him. His father had always been in his corner during fights, and in his post-fight speech, Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed that he made a promise to his mother not to continue fighting without his father’s presence. He chose to retire in order to honor that promise.


Khabib Nurmagomedov’s accomplishments in the UFC are truly remarkable. Despite having fought only 13 times in the organization, the Dagestani grappling maestro defeated notable fighters such as Rafael Dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Al Iaquinta, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje during his active career.

Throughout his career, Nurmagomedov became one of the biggest stars in the sport and was part of the highest-selling pay-per-view event in UFC history. He also set and broke multiple promotional records during his time in the UFC.


While some fans may argue that Khabib Nurmagomedov retired too early, his impact on the sport is undeniable. He introduced Sambo to the world and brought the Soviet fighting style into the spotlight.

Following his retirement in October 2020, Nurmagomedov established his own MMA promotion, Eagle FC. He has since become an active coach at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) under the guidance of head coach Javier Mendez. Nurmagomedov continues to coach and corner fighters, including current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and top-ranked middleweight contender Belal Muhammad.

Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov’s last fight below:

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