This past weekend at UFC 254, one of the greatest to ever do it fought for the final time. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) successfully defended his lightweight crown against former interim champion, Justin Gaethje (22-3).
UFC 254 proved to be another dominant victory for Nurmagomedov. Facing the guy who many believed would be his toughest challenger, Nurmagomedov put on arguably the best performance of his career.
After an initial feeling out process, Nurmagomedov’s pressure slowly broke Justin Gaethje. In the second round, a takedown led to a triangle choke victory for the champion. When the fight was over, Nurmagomedov laid his gloves in the octagon and retired at UFC 254.
It’s a move that took many by surprise, however, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many wondered if Nurmagomedov would ever compete again after he lost his father earlier this year to COVID-19. Khabib’s father had been his lead trainer as well.
However, Nurmagomedov said he felt that he had to complete this final fight. He promised his mother that he would walk away from the UFC after this contest, and I believe him. I think we’ve seen the last of Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the octagon.
Khabib’s UFC Legacy
Simply put, Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest to ever do it. He has a very strong argument as the greatest fighter to ever step foot inside the UFC‘s octagon. He leaves undefeated with no asterisks on his record.
Jon Jones is the GOAT in the eyes of many, however, you can’t say his record is nearly as clean. When it comes to longevity and resume of wins, you’d have to lean towards Jones, however, the USADA issues can’t be ignored when examining his overall legacy.
With Nurmagomedov, you have a clean resume. The most dominant lightweight to ever compete in the UFC. He defeated every top challenger in the division outside of Tony Ferguson. That fight was attempted to be made five times, however, it never came together.
At the end of the day, as a fight fan, I’m sad that we won’t see Nurmagomedov compete anymore. However, I’m glad I got to witness his prime and see his dominance. Nurmagomedov went out on top, and 29-0 is something we may never see again in the UFC.