Khabib Nurmagomedov explains decision to retire from UFC

Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken out on his decision to retire from mixed martial arts and the UFC.

‘The Eagle’ announced his retirement after submitting Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Despite that, UFC president Dana White has spent months suggesting he could get the Russian star to reconsider.

White pulled out all the stops in an attempt to lure Nurmagomedov back for one more fight and seemed relatively upbeat about a return.

In the end, though, he couldn’t get it done, and Khabib will finish his MMA career at 29-0.

During an interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov went into more detail about the motivation behind his decision.

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“It’s very hard when you have power, when you’re the best in the world, when you’re famous, and you have money, and say to everything, no. This is very hard. People may never understand me, but I really hope they’re going to support my decision. Because everybody has their views and my view, my relationship with my mother, I feel like I have to stop.”

During his UFC 254 post-fight interview, Khabib said he promised his mother he’d retire after the Gaethje bout.

“Because I feel like in every fight, in my every training camp, everything takes some age from my mother. And you know, it’s like, what else do I have to do? I came to this sport to show how I am, to become the best. I’m the world champion, I’m P4P No. 1, I defend my title three times, I won the biggest fight in UFC history. What else? Only money and only money fights, but I don’t need money fights,” Nurmagomedov said.

MMA retirements can be fairly inconsistent but with someone like Khabib, it feels pretty concrete.

He’s done everything he set out to do, proving once and for all he’s the greatest lightweight the UFC has ever seen.

Featured image credit: Getty