Undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired after defeating Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254.
There are some out there who cannot understand why Nurmagomedov retired, but Nurmagomedov doesn’t know what to do about them.
“This fight was like no other,” Nurmagomedov said during a visit to Head of Dagestan Sergei Melikov (via RT Sport). “The emotions in this fight were completely different. Everything was completely different without my father. I was offered the fight right after everything happened. I had the decision to accept it or turn it down, nobody knew about this, or retire, or I could come back, fight and then retire. Now I tell the people close to me that aren’t happy with me retiring that even if I fought 10 more times, I’d still have to face that decision. This decision could come up when I’m 32, 34, 35. It’s a hard decision because I’ve been fighting all my life. I’ve been on the mats for as long as I remember. It’s difficult to leave and do something else. People can’t understand it, but what can you do?”
Nurmagomedov, retired with a record of 29-0, leading many to believe that he’ll return one day to hit the 30-0 mark.
The retired fighter says that everything that happened to him before the fight gave Nurmagomedov a strength he has never felt before.
“Everything that happened to me psychologically before this fight gave me strength I can’t describe, inside and outside of the octagon, during my weight cut and preparation,” Nurmagomedov said. “A big factor in that strength was the immense support of my fans. My father and I always used to meet fans when we arrived at the airport. This time we thought it would be best not to gather a lot of people. Given this chance, I’d like to thank them for the emotional support. Dagestan doesn’t always show the best image on TV and the internet, (so) I get a lot of motivation when my victories bring positivity to our people.”