Conor McGregor has praised Khabib Nurmagomedov after the Russian Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) fighter called time on his career as he beat American Justin Gaethje at the UFC 254 on Saturday. Also Read - UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov Announces Retirement After Defeating Justin Gaethje
“Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors,” McGregor posted on his Twitter handle. Also Read - UFC Star Conor McGregor Arrested in Corsica For ‘Attempted Sexual Assault’: Report
With this win Nurmagomedov finished his UFC career undefeated with a 29-0 record. There were speculations that he may target a 30th win before announcing retirement but that wasn’t to be the case.
At the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, fighting with a broken foot, Nurmagomedov won via triangle choke at 1 minute, 34 seconds of the second round.
It was the 32-year-old’s first bout since his father passed away in July this year due to COVID-19 related complications.
“It was the first time after what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about (fighting) Justin, I talked with my mother for three days. She didn’t want me to fight without father, but I promised her it was going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here,” he said.
Nurmagomedov made one request with the UFC authorities – rank him as the number one pound-for-pound fighter.
“I know only one thing I want from UFC: You guys have to [rank me] No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, because I deserve this,” he said.
Gaethje praised his opponent calling Nurmagomedov the toughest human being on the planet.
“What this guy has been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” White said. “… Apparently, he was in the hospital and he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken. That’s what his corner told me. He’s the toughest human being on the planet. He’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” he said.