'Greatest champion': McGregor, UFC stars honor retired Khabib | Inquirer Sports
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‘Greatest champion’: McGregor, UFC stars honor retired Khabib

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 03:55 PM October 25, 2020
Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC

FILE – Khabib Nurmagomedov v Dustin Poirier – Men’s UFC Lightweight title – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – September 7, 2019 Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after winning his match against Dustin Poirier REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines—Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successful title defense against Justin Gaethje left little to doubt on how much of a dominant champion he is, but it was his announcement after that truly stunned the mixed martial arts world.

In an emotional post-fight interview with Jon Anik, Nurmagomedov dropped the ball and announced his retirement following the match and that he promised his mother he wouldn’t fight again after the death of his father Abdul due to COVID-19 complications in July.

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Messages of congratulations and also of condolences poured in after Nurmagomedov, who retired as the UFC world lightweight champion, finished his career with a perfect 29-0 record.

Conor McGregor, the only person to take a round against Nurmagomedov, was one of the athletes who quickly offered his condolences and praise.

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“Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and your family. Yours sincerely, the McGregors,” tweeted McGregor who had one of the most heated feuds in UFC history with Nurmagomedov in 2018.

Daniel Cormier also took to Twitter to congratulate Nurmagomedov on his career and called his good friend as “the greatest champion in UFC history.”

“Congratulations to the greatest champion in @ufc history. What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed #weareaka #eaglesmma #fathersplan #heissoproud @TeamKhabib,” posted Cormier who is teammates with Nurmagomedov at American Kickboxing Academy.

Jon Jones also sent his good wishes to Nurmagomedov.

“I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career. I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him in his journey,” posted Jones.

UFC legend Georges St. Pierre, who had been previously rumored to fight Nurmagomedov, said that Nurmagomedov “left an incredible legacy” and that he was “one of the best to ever do it.”

“It was a perfect career, there’s nothing we can say bad about him, it was a perfect career, 29-0, and he retired on top with the best performance of his career,” said St. Pierre in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

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TAGS: Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, George St. Pierre, Jon Jones, Justin Gaethje, Khabib Nurmagomedov, lightweight, MMA, Retirement, Sports, UFC
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