Khabib Nurmagomedov walks out of the UFC as arguably the greatest to ever do it.
The Dagestan monster was expected to have his hands full on Sunday when he went up against Justin Gaethje.
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But as he has done so often in the past, Nurmagomedov pressed forward and ended the fight in the second round in what was a pure MMA masterclass.
It was in the aftermath of the fight however when things took a turn as the normally brutal and stoic Russian broke down in the centre of the Octagon.
The tears flowed from Nurmagomedov as finally let go all the pain he had been holding onto as he got his first fight without his father by his side.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in early July due to complications stemming from a COVID-19 infection that had seen him hospitalised since April.
His death rocked the MMA world with fellow fighters and UFC boss sharing their heartfelt condolences to the man who had trained numerous champions in judo and the Russian martial arts discipline sambo.
After the fight, Khabib posted a moving tribute to his father on Instagram, uploading an image of the two with the caption: “When ALLAH with you, nobody can broke you, nobody. Thanks Father for everything, you teach all my life, may ALLAH grant you the highest Paradise,” he wrote.
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Khabib praises his father after his latest fightSource:Instagram
The death of his father left Khabib broken and his emotion was on full display following his latest UFC demolition job.
In his post-fight interview the 29-0 superstar dropped the bombshell he would be hanging his gloves up for good and revealed a promise to his mother was behind it all.
“Today, I want to say this was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov announced.
“After what happened with my father, when the UFC called me about Justin, I talked with my mother for three days, she didn’t want me to go fight without father.
“I promised her it’s going to be my last fight. I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight.”
An undisputed champion of the Octagon.Source:Getty Images
Many have tried and failed to stop Nurmagomedov with Gaethje becoming the latest to fall victim to his unrelenting attacking fight style.
UFC boss Dana White spilt the beans on an injury Nurmagomedov had sustained in the lead up to the main event, making his victory all the more impressive.
“What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” White said in his post-fight press conference.
“Apparently he was in the hospital, he broke his foot three weeks ago. He has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that’s broken, or something like that. That’s what his corner was telling me.
“Never told anybody, walking around. He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet, and he is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“He is the baddest motherf*cker on the planet.”
Pushing through the pain of a broken foot was nothing compared to the weight of fighting without his father for the first time in his career. And once the fight came to an end, the emotions spilt over as Nurmagomedov was able to let it all go.
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