Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

Saturday, October 24, 2020, will live in the memory of every MMA fan forever. UFC 254, headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje, was a smashing success.

A whole card of straight action led to the most anticipated matchup of 2020. Heading into the fight, many considered Justin Gaethje to be Khabib Nurmagomedov’s biggest challenge to date. Gaethje’s wrestling pedigree combined with the fact the Khabib had tragically lost his father, led many to doubt the undefeated champion. So, how did Khabib handle the biggest challenge of his career? He absolutely picked apart Justin Gaethje, finishing him at the beginning of the second round.

Following the horrible loss of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport with a record of 29 wins and 0 professional losses.

For those who are not into MMA, retiring with an undefeated record in the UFC is impossible. Until, Khabib made it possible. The champion has defied all logic by thrashing every single opponent he has faced in his career. As if that wasn’t enough, he has only lost two rounds in his entire UFC tenure. With his retirement this past Saturday, Khabib secures his spot as the only UFC fighter to retire undefeated as the world champ.

new york post

It took Khabib a while to rise to the top. The future hall of fame recipient entered the UFC in 2012. Throughout the early stages of his career, Khabib was still a very raw fighter. Thankfully through his connections to the AKA gym, Khabib was able to become the fighter he is today.

Khabib continued to improve every single fight. When the opportunity came for a title shot, he was ready. He was originally supposed to fight Tony Ferguson for the Lightweight strap but ended up having to fight Iaquinta at UFC 223. Khabib only had one day to process the fight change. It made no difference as the future champ claimed his throne. That was only the beginning.

Khabib went on to tie the lightweight record for title defenses with three. However, those three title defenses were no walk in the park. He had to face Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and most recently Justin Gaethje. All three of those fighters were ranked on the UFC pound for pound top ten when they faced Nurmagomedov. He dominated them all.

In undoubtedly the most stacked division in the UFC, Khabib created a gap between himself and everyone else. He only lost two rounds in his entire career; one to Conor McGregor, and a controversial round 1 to Gaethje. Besides those two rounds, he statistically dominated every other fighter in every single round. He made it seem impossible for anyone to beat him. Khabib retired truly on top of his game.

ufc.com

Following the decimation of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov broke down. All of the emotions of the fight camp rushed to him. Khabib had won his final fight for his father. Nurmagomedov thanked all who had helped him in his fight camp and throughout his entire career. He explained the unimaginable difficulty of preparing for his final fight and how grateful he was to be in the UFC.

In the closing moments of the post-fight interview, Khabib wanted one last thing. “You guy’s have to put me on number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world because I deserve this.”

Shortly after UFC 254, it was reported that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be placed at number 1 on the current UFC pound for pound rankings. One last gesture to elevate the legacy of one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the octagon.

By Jack Kennedy

Life long mma enthusiast. Not here to take part here to take over!